First Mock Draft of the NBA Season
3 Picks every day.
1) Memphis Grizzlies
: Greg Oden
:The Memphis Grizzlies are a team that had high hopes coming into the season but have really fallen off largely in part of Pau Gasol being sidelined for the majority of the year, than having his name thrown around in trade rumors. Oden would add strength to the frontline whether or not Gasol is back next year, Durant is not an option here as Grizzlies first rounder Rudy GA is a very similar player and would be lost behind Durant, but after watching the Hawks draft Marvin Williams #2 overall a year after drafting Josh Smith the same position, I would never be surprised if they made a move like this. Player Analysis
:Since the beginning of the year everyone knew that Oden was the #1 pick in the draft, and while Kevin Durant had a 100x times better Freshman season as Durant was spectacular Oden is still cemented in as the #1 pick overall, but depending on who ends up with the #1 pick that could easily change. Oden is a player who is physically intimidating and a real force on the glass and blocking shots. Offensively he needs lots of work. From his free throw shooting to his low post moves you shouldn't expect him to make a huge impact his rookie year in the scoring column other than Putback dunks and the occasional low post hook shot. It is well documented that he struggles with stronger players ala Derrick Character but with some work with an NBA training staff he could develop into a more than solid offensive player but he will never dominate inside like many think he will, he will carve out plenty of minutes his rookie year just based on the fact that he can rebound and play as a force on defense.
Rookie Year Projections
:9.3 ppg, 8.7 rpg, 2.3 bpg.
2) Boston Celtics
:Celtics oh Celtics, how they have been so terrible this year at times looking like they belonged in the ABA. I'm sure the Celtics would absolutely love to get Greg Oden as Center is their biggest need but at this point in the draft with such great young talent already on the Celts Durant is just too great of a prospect to pass on and Danny Ainge has already obviously shown he has a great interest in Durant. Durant would most likely earn a starting spot at SF on this team which would now relegate Gerald Green as a backup behind Pierce, but if anyone were to be traded it would be Pierce, I do however expect the Celtics to do all they can in order to trade up to get Greg Oden. To get Greg Oden they would have to trade their first rounder a top 5 pick in addition to one of their young talents in Rajon Rondo, Al Jefferson, or Gerald Green to acquire the #1 overall pick although the Celts would be foolish to part with Jefferson in a deal to get Oden.
:Kevin Durant was sensational his freshman season in college most likely earning him player of the year honors. Durant is silky smooth with unbelievable range. He is what I wanted Rudy G Ay to look like while at UCONN, asserting himself on offense. The #1 thing that should be understood is that Durant is a SF, he is not the next Kevin Garnett, he will not gain 30 pounds, and he will not be a force down low, his height however shouldn't be disregarded just because he is a SF. Because of his height he will have a distinct advantage in the NBA shooting over smaller forwards. Durant has a great handle on the ball and can drive to the hoop as well as pull up on the mid range jumper. Defensively he was an excellent rebounder on the college level and should be one of the top rebounding forwards at his position. There are little flaws in Durant's game and no doubt he will make several All-star appearances, but he will always be a great player but don't expect him to ever dominate. I would like him to develop a more killer instinct scoring in the NBA as at times he seems to be a little hesitant or reserved, but we all saw what he could do when he decided to take over a game. Durant is younger than everyone in his class and will be only 18 years old I believe come draft time so that is another thing that adds to his hype, no Amobi Okoye but still youngest player in his draft class being a year younger.
Rookie year Projections
:17.8 ppg, 7.3 rpg, 2.5 apg.
3) Charlotte Bobcats
:Brandan Wright is obviously a questionable choice with Sean May and Emeka Okafor already there but for such a young developing team that isn't expected to contend for the NBA title any time soon Wright is too great of a talent to pass up on. The Bobcats 2 most glaring needs are SG as Gerald Wallace is likely to test the free agent waters and demand a lofty contract, and C where Primoz Brezec has fallen out of favor from last year but it looks like neither position will be addressed in the draft because of the lack of a true star at these positions. Emeka Okafor is dominant when healthy but I fell as Sean May is better suited for a backup role in terms of the future as he is solid but lacks explosion. While still very raw a potential frontline of Okafor and Wright with May coming off the bench looks awfully good.
:Wright is an immensely talented player, but is also immensely raw. The first thing you will notice about him other than his enormous ears is his enormous wingspan. Being blessed with such a long wingspan allows him to be a force blocking shots and helps him grab higher rebounds. He runs the floor extremely well for his height and has nice touch around the basket. He unlike Durant is a guy who actually needs to gain 15-30 pounds of muscle on his frail stature, that in itself could be the biggest factor in determining his success in the NBA. At this point his body will not allow him to do what he wants to offensively so don't expect an immediate impact from Wright, he is a project and a hit or miss kind of prospect.
Rookie Year Projections
:5.7 ppg, 4.3 rpg, 1.8 bpg.
Picks 4,5, and 6 from Milwaukee, Philadelphia, and Phoenix Tomorrow.
Fri, 4/23:Seattle, Portland, Minnesota
Sat, 4/24:New Orleans, Sacramento, LA Clippers
Mon, 4/26:Chicago, Detroit, Atlanta
Tue, 4/27:New Jersey, Golden State, Philadelphia
Wed, 4/28:LA Lakers, Charlotte, Miami
Thur, 4/29:Washington, New York, Phoenix
Fri, 4/30:Houston, Detroit, Utah