Portland Blazers: Greg Oden, C, Ohio State
In my third NBA mock, I announced that I was building a statue of David Stern because he didn't rig the lottery by giving the Celtics their choice of
Greg Oden or Kevin Durant. In my fourth, I said that I was missing something resembling the ugly rug Stern wears on the top of his head every day. Well, I
managed to sneak into his office and swipe it. Upon exiting, I ran into Stern, who didn't seem too pleased. He told me I was suspended for two days.
Now, I'll be missing the NBA Draft, one of the most important days on the basketball calendar. Now I know how the Suns feel.
Seattle Sonics: Kevin Durant, SF, Texas
Sure, give Kevin Durant to an inept franchise that may move to another city sometime soon. In case you've forgotten, Seattle took Mouhamed Sene at No. 10
last year. Sene averaged 1.8 points and 0.4 rebounds this season. Wow. Maybe Durant can actually average three points per game for the Sonics in 2007-08.
That'd be great. Yeah...
Anyway, if I had a choice between Greg Oden and Durant, I'd probably take the former. There aren't many natural throw-back centers in the league anymore, and
you'd be gaining a major advantage over your opponent with Oden. Plus, Oden's domination over Florida in a loss showed me that unlike Patrick Ewing, he
doesn't disappear in big games. That said, I'd gladly take either guy.
Atlanta Hawks: Al Horford, PF, Florida
How much does David Stern hate Phoenix? First, he screws them by robbing them of Amare Stoudamire and Boris Diaw for a crucial Game 5 at home. Next,
he rigs the lottery so that the dreadful Hawks take Phoenix's pick (it was top-three protected). I previously asked Suns fans not to destroy my David Stern
statue. I don't care anymore. I shouldn't have been suspended for two days. People of Phoenix, you have my permission to nuke the statue.
It looks as though the Hawks are targeting Al Horford, meaning they're passing on a sure-fire point guard once again. Congratulations, Atlanta. You're
an incompetent basketball organization.
Memphis Grizzlies: Mike Conley Jr., PG, Ohio State
I'm hearing that Brandan Wright had a poor workout, so he's slipping. If Kevin Durant was praised for not being able to lift 180 pounds, how horribly did
Wright do? Did he pull a Walter Matthau and pass out while shooting free throws? Did he vomit all over Atlanta's coaching staff? Actually, now that I
think about, Wright's pretty smart. Doing whatever he did has guaranteed that he won't be playing with the Hawks. Pure brilliance.
The Grizzlies are poised to make some moves this offseason. They lose Eddie Jones' $15 million, placing their team salary at just $42 million. They'll
be able to sign quality free agents. Luckily they have Jerry West as their GM, and not Isiah Thomas or Billy King. Thomas and King would be tempted to
re-sign Jones to a 4-year, $650 billion contract.
Boston Celtics: Corey Brewer, SF, Florida
Take a look at THIS PICTURE and
tell me that Doc Rivers doesn't look like a raging lunatic. I'll bet Danny Ainge is thinking, "Man, I'd fire this guy, but I'm afraid he'll break into my
house and eat my kids!"
The Celtics could be looking at a defensive forward; they allowed 99.2 points per game last season. Corey Brewer's my favorite prospect in this draft class
after Greg Oden and Kevin Durant. Check out my Player Prospects Page to see why.
Milwaukee Bucks: Brandan Wright, PF, North Carolina
Is it too early to call Andrew Bogut a bust? He's averaging less than 13 points
and 9 rebounds per game this season. The Bucks could have had Chris Paul or Deron Williams. Next time Milwaukee should think twice about taking an Australian
with the first-overall pick. I should say that I have nothing against Australians - boomerangs and kangeroos are really cool - but I can't justify taking
one over two sure-fire point guards.
Milwaukee is another team that will enjoy financial freedom. Of their current $61 million payroll, $20 million is going to Ruben Patterson, Calvin Booth
and Brian Skinner. All three contracts expire this summer.
There are rumors that Chauncey Billups may come to the Bucks. Imagine how potent they'll be with him and Wright on the roster.
Minnesota Timberwolves: Jeff Green, SF, Georgetown
With millions of Kevin Garnett trade rumors circling the internet and ESPN, the Timberwolves may draft a small forward to take his spot. Let's just hope that
whomever they pick gets enough money to feed his family.
Charlotte Bobcats: Joakim Noah, PF, Florida
Imagine how potent Charlotte would be if it had Joakim Noah and Emeka Okafor patrolling the paint. Well, the word "potent" for any Bobcat fan would mean
35 or 36 victories. That's like fourth place in the East!
By the way, if you watched the Final Four, you must have heard how
much Billy Packer ripped on Joakim Noah's jump shot. It was as if Packer was some small dwarf who was angry at everyone not associated with the ACC.
Chicago Bulls: Spencer Hawes, C, Washington
The Bulls need someone to score in the paint. The best interior option they have is Ben Wallace. In TV show terms, that's like CTU saying, "OK we don't
have anyone like Jack Bauer anymore, so let's send in Edgar Styles in to fight the terrorists."
P.J. Brown's $8 million drops off of Chicago's payroll, so the Bulls will have another opportunity to add to their arsenal. Some of that cash, however, will
be needed to re-sign Andres Nocioni.
Sacramento Kings: Yi Jianlian, PF, China
The only three double-digit scorers Sacramento has on its roster play the 1-3 positions. The three is the mentally unstable Ron Artest, so the Kings might
want to acquire some insurance.
That said, if Yi Jianlian's available, Sacramento won't be able to resist. Jianlian's a man of pure genius, by the way. I don't know how he did it, but his
"poor workouts" have the Celtics second guessing. So, Jianlian's going from a dead franchise is an a cold, New England city to a California squad with
rich owners. He probably pretended he was as crazy as Doc Rivers and threatened to eat Danny Ainge's kids, or something. That's my best guess.
Atlanta Hawks: Al Thornton, SF/PF, Florida State
Hey, Hawks, look: Acie Law IV and Jarvaris Crittenton are available. What? You think they're too small and handle the ball too well to be on your team?
OK, if you say so.
Law makes way too much sense in this situation. I think Atlanta's going to throw us a curveball. The organization's too inept to do something smart.
Time for the Hawks to select their 11th small forward since the 1997 Draft. If you've seen the South Park episode where the gnomes steal everyone's
underwear, you'll appreciate this. Or maybe you won't. I don't care at
this point. This is Atlanta's goal to success: Step 1 - Draft as many small forwards as possible. Step 2... Step 3 - Win NBA Championship!
Philadelphia 76ers: Acie Law IV, PG, Texas A&M
Stupid Sixers. They had all those victories just to miss the playoffs by a few games, in typical Philadelphia fasion.
I want Acie Law IV. I'm hoping Billy King sees this mock draft and decides to draft him. I'm also hoping he doesn't offer Law an unnecessary $55.5
trillion contract when he comes on stage to shake David Stern's hand.
By the way, I don't know if anyone else has seen this, but King was named one of the top general managers by some sports magazine. Who did King have
to sleep with to get that award? I'm convinced the writers were either drunk, stoned or enthralled by King's designer glasses. Oh no, here comes King now!
Wow, those are nice glasses. Billy King is great. Billy King is awesome. Signing Samuel Dalembert to a $30 billion contract was such an incredible idea.
New Orleans Hornets: Jason Smith, PF, Colorado State
Everyone's saying New Orleans is going to draft Nick Young. Yeah, right. These are the Hornets we're talking about. Other than Chris Paul, what have they
ever done that made sense? I sense another curveball.
A guy no one has ever heard of to help owner George Shinn suck the life out of another city. Shinn should be the bad guy in Spider Man 4. His
powers would be the ability to make ordinary people hate basketball. He'd be much tougher to stop than Venom.
Los Angeles Clippers: Nick Young, SG, USC
How dumb are the Clippers? They had a nice, young team that worked hard. They just had to sign Tim Thomas. Thomas poisoned the entire squad. Now, everyone's
loafing around, ordering pizzas during practice and sleeping in smoke-filled, hippie-like vans outside of the Staples Center.
The Clippers make amends by capitalizing on New Orleans' mistake.
Detroit Pistons: Javaris Crittenton, PG, Georgia Tech
Value for the Pistons, who can afford to take the best player available. There's a chance Chauncey Billups won't be around much longer, so this makes a
lot of sense.
Washington Bullets: Marco Belinelli, SG, Italy
I have to say that I was inspired the other day. I received an e-mail from a Washington D.C. sports blog that referred to the Wizards as the "Bullets."
Let's follow their example and call Washington's team the Bullets again. "Wizards" is such a stupid name - sounds like something a bunch of nerds from the
World of Warcraft would think of.
The Bullets always seem to take foreign players and they need a shooting guard, so Marco Belinelli seems like the perfect fit.
As you may have guessed, I'm
against taking international prospects simply because it does nothing but piss off the fans. The people who pay for tickets have to wait for months after
the season is over for the draft. They're hoping their team takes one of their favorite NCAA players. Instead, the organization opts for some European
no one has ever heard of. Think about it this way: What if the Washington Redskins took some 250-pound Estonian who randomly ran a 4.45? I don't think the
Hogettes would be too happy about that.
New Jersey Nets: Julian Wright, SF, Kansas
Vince Carter can opt out of his contract this summer, and something tells me that he won't want to play for a team with no fans, and in an arena built on top of
a swamp much longer. Remember when the Nets wanted to change their name to "Swamp Dragons?" What a joke.
Golden State Warriors: Derrick Byars, SF/SG, Vanderbilt
Fits well into Golden State's reckless run-and-gun offense. Since I have nothing else to say here, let me remind you that I wanted the Sixers to take Patrick
O'Bryant last year. O'Bryant averaged a whopping 1.9 points and 1.3 rebounds for the Warriors in 2006-07. At this rate, I'll be as good a GM as Isiah Thomas
by the time I'm 35.
By the way, I've seen many mocks predict that the Warriors will take a center. That won't happen; Don Nelson has never liked slow, methodical centers
on his roster.
Los Angeles Lakers: Thaddeus Young, SF, Georgia Tech
A much-needed second-scoring option for Kobe Bryant.
By the way, Kobe's request to be traded was the dumbest thing I've ever heard. Hey, Kobe, if you wanted to be a winner, you shouldn't have kicked Shaq off your team,
Miami Heat: Rodney Stuckey, SG/PG, E. Washington
Black Vanilla, Dark Chocolate, whatever his name is... Jason Williams' contract expires at the end of next year, and I have a feeling the Heat won't be
willing to pay market value for him. They'll need a long-term replacement.
Philadelphia 76ers: Tiago Splitter, PF, Brazil
I have to repeat that I want the Sixers to get Acie Law as a backup to Andre Miller. And since I'm wishing for this, it's just not going to happen.
The Sixers have drafted only three players I've wanted in my history of being their fan: Jerry Stackhouse in 1995, Allen Iverson in 1996 and Andre Iguodala
in 2004. I screwed up with Patrick O'Bryant, but hitting three of four ain't bad. Billy King, for the love of God, please listen to me.
I heard that the Philadelphia Daily News compared Nevada power forward Nick Fazekas to Dirk Nowitzki. Listen, you can look like Dirk Nowitzki, but doesn't
mean you can play like Dirk Nowitzki. Fazekas has been one of the softest players in college hoops over the past few seasons. Sure, he beat up on the soft
WAC competition, but he folded like a scared poker player once the NCAA Tournament rolled around. He's no Dirk Nowitzki. He's Keith Van Horn.
OK, I'm stepping off my soapbox. With three first-round picks, one of three things will happen: The Sixers will either move up, overpay a few veterans or
draft a foreign player.
Charlotte Bobcats: Morris Almond, SG, Rice
Charlotte could use a 3-point shooter like Morris Almond, who hit at least 45 percent from beyond the arc the past three years at Rice. Actually, Charlotte
needs a lot of things, like a competent GM, a real mascot and a small forward who doesn't look like a starving French painter.
New York Knicks: Wilson Chandler, SF, DePaul
You don't even have to watch the draft:
Phoenix Suns: Daequan Cook, SG, Ohio State
I wouldn't be surprised if David Stern says the following when Phoenix is on the clock: "With the 24th pick in the draft, the Phoenix Suns select - oh,
wait, I can't read this card, let's move on to the 25th pick. Ha! I screwed you again, Suns! I mean, uhhh... who said that?"
Daequan Cook is quick and shoots threes, much like everyone else on Phoenix's roster.
Utah Jazz: Rudy Fernandez, SG, Spain
Excluding Deron Williams, here are Utah's first-round selections since 1999: Kris Humphries, Pavel Podkolzin, Kirk Snyder, Aleksander Pavlovic, Curtis
Borchardt, Raul Lopez and DeShawn Stevenson. Ummm... how did this team make the playoffs?
Houston Rockets: Aaron Brooks, PG, Oregon
The Rockets need a point guard to choke alongside Tracy McGrady every year. Brooks was actually one of the most clutch players in college hoops last year,
so maybe McGrady can teach him a thing or two.
Detroit Pistons: Josh McRoberts, PF, Duke
I don't think Chris Webber and Rasheed Wallace are going to be around much longer. Can't wait to see whom Webber signs with next year. That team will
enjoy Webber's ability to sit on the bench, do nothing and waste money. Oh, and I hear he's really nifty at calling time outs.
San Antonio Spurs: Marc Gasol, C, Spain
Another weird foreign guy who will be an All-Star in five years. Marc Gasol will be able to help out in the front court in the latter stages
of Tim Duncan's career.
Phoenix Suns: Arron Afflalo, SG, UCLA
Wow, look, the Suns are up again. Look, Atlanta and New York: There's a real NBA franchise that knows how to win. Isiah, stop scratching your behind.
A word about Isiah Thomas. ESPN columnist Bill Simmons criticized Thomas one time, prompting the Knicks' general manager to respond: ""If I see this guy
Bill Simmons, oh, it's gonna be a problem with me and him." Real classy, Isiah.
Philadelphia 76ers: Aaron Gray, C, Pittsburgh
Aaron Gray is not a good basketball player. He would, however, make a mean contestant in a cheeseburger-eating contest. Too bad for him this is the NBA
Draft. I just hope Billy King remembers that.
I have no problems with your mock draft for the Raiders. I'm sure you're aware of the need at MLB, but doubling up on defensive tackles would make as much sense given the lack of pass rush outside of Mack.
@jsemmens I've been to the Big Board in the past, but it's still an inefficient way of going about a mock. Not to mention, reports and the people writing them change, no? I come to Walt's site because I used to like his insight on every player. Now, it's simply team needs and a very limited amount of actual analysis. You definitely need SOME amount of explanation behind a pick with regards to team need, but you need much more of the player evaluation angle. Any dummy can write why a particular team "needs" a specific position; it takes a pretty good eye to understand what player needs to fill it. Again, just my 2 cents.
Here's my mock based on team need, prospect value and prevailing opinion as well as some ideas of my own. Please let me know about the team(s) that you follow more closely, and any picks that you agree or disagree with. Please comment, and feel free to rate.