Well, if you were struggling to stay awake throughout this years NBA Finals matchup or simply decided to stop watching and watched Celebrity Fit Club instead like I did, remember that the NBA Draft is a little less than two weeks away. Although completely overrated in my opinion, this draft has the potential to change the fortunes of many teams (and in the cases of Boston and Memphis, let us know that blatantly losing makes you a loser no matter what). Without further adieu, take a look at bx_reps Official Ill Community Mock Draft for the 2007 NBA Draft coming June 28.
1. Portland Trail Blazers- Greg Oden, C, Ohio State
This is a lock for Portland. After seeing the workouts and training combine the NBA had over the last couple of weeks, Oden is the clear cut favorite for this pick just as he has been since his senior year of high school. Oden is a game changer on the defensive end and when paired up with reigning Rookie of the Year Brandon Roy, a another up and coming center LaMarcus Aldridge, and maybe (or maybe not more on this later) a 20 and 10 guy in Zach Randolph, the Blazers will be taking over the Western Conference one season at a time.
2. Seattle Supersonics- Kevin Durant, F, Texas
No team needed a top 2 pick quite like the Seattle Supersonics who could possibly leave Seattle by 2010. Durant is a franchise savior and although lifting 185 pounds for him is a chore, he will be no worse than the man he may either replace or play alongside: Rashard Lewis. A Durant /Ray Allen /Chris Wilcox combo could be just what Seattle needs to keep their team going.
3. Atlanta Hawks- Brandan Wright, F, North Carolina
Ladies and Gentlemen, this is where the draft truly begins. Now you were considered not cool last year if you were a GM who didnt make a trade on draft night. Billy Knight to Hawks fans is considered not cool because he drafts at every position except one that the team desperately needs: a point guard. Now they could very well deal this pick, maybe for the Trail Blazers Zach Randolph, or go for Greg Odens Ohio State point man Mike Conley. I think Wright is a good pick for one reason: they have the #11 pick in which they can still go after a PG. However, if Knight drafts another swingman, prepare for ATL to get violent.
4. Memphis Grizzlies- Al Horford, F, Florida
The first team in the tanks for nothing club (Boston, Ill get to you in a sec) seems like things are looking up. They have a new coach (Mike Iavaroni) and star forward Pau Gasol seems like hes on board to stay. For a team that had the worst record in the NBA this season, they do have potential. Adding Horford to play in the low post alongside Gasol could open up things for guys like last years first round selections Rudy Gay and Kyle Lowry as well as swingman Mike Miller and forward Hakim Warrick. Horford is a winner who will teach this team how to go back to being the 50-win Grizzlies rather than unsuccessful tankers.
5. Boston Celtics- Yi Jianlian, F, China
Before I start, people: just because Yi is Chinese DOESNT mean hell be the next Yao. Anyway, theres a very good chance Boston trades this pick as requested by star player Paul Pierce. They are Memphis East, a team that was only horrible due to injury and have potential stars. In the Celtics case, they have emerging forward Al Jefferson, guard Gerald Green, and point guard Rajon Rondo. Adding Yi could boost their Asian fanbase in the Bean the way Daisuke Matsuzaka is doing for the Red Sox. However, dont be surprised if Phoenix makes a run at Yi with Shawn Marion as trade bait after the Hawks got to keep their first round pick.
6. Milwaukee Bucks- Joakim Noah, F, Florida
While Noah may remind you of Anderson Varejao, Noah is better. Hes a glue guy that will hustle on every play and could become a 12 and 8 guy with a couple of blocks per game. These are the guys you win titles with (ask Billy Donovan). If the Bucks can keep either guard Mo Williams or Charlie Bell, this is a no-brainer considering Bobby Simmons hasnt done much since signing that big time contract. This move makes the Bucks front court the lankiest, yet most likely to succeed trio in the East.
7. Minnesota Timberwolves- Corey Brewer, F, Florida
To many who know me on this site, this is obviously the pick Im most interested in. With Kevin Garnetts time in Minny possibly running out and being led by the worst GM in basketball (Im trying to be nice, guys) in Kevin McHale, Minnesota needs an impact player now. Although Corey Brewers weight (185 pounds) makes T.I. look overweight, Brewer is a lanky guy who is also part of the Florida Gators pedigree. An excellent defender, he can add pressure to guards and forwards while allowing Randy Foye even more freedom on the offensive end. Scary. In the Wolves case, this is the guy you can use to keep KG if he and All-Rookie first team guard Randy Foye play well.
8. Charlotte Bobcats- Jeff Green, F, Georgetown
Green is an NBA ready player who is not great at any one thing, but is consistent across the board. Although I personally would have loved to see him stay at Georgetown and have a shot at a National Title, Green seems mentally and physically poised for the rigors of the NBA. He is ready to help Charlotte now and would be great insurance in case Gerald Wallace leaves via free agency. If Wallace stays, it could be time to admit wrong and trade the disappointing 2006 #3 overall pick, Adam Morrison. Wright is another character guy from a big time college that Charlotte likes. MJ is 0/1 so far in Charlotte draftwise (I wont bring up that fumbling center now in LA whom he drafted #1 overall). He needs to do the right thing now.
9. Chicago Bulls- Spencer Hawes, C, Washington
I hope Im not stating the obvious, but the New York Knicks could really use this pick. Anyway, adding a project center in Hawes could make the Bulls better down the line when Ben Wallaces best days are over. They could trade this pick to move up for the much coveted Yi Jianlian, but this is not a bad pick for a team that is still growing. Ben Wallace has three years left on his contract and could help Hawes get better defensively.
10. Sacramento Kings- Mike Conley Jr., G, Ohio State
This pick spells the end of the Bibby Era (and what an era it was!) in Sactown. If Bibby doesnt get dealt, Mike Bibby can be a good tutor in molding Conleys game. Hed be in a small market with no real pressure to win now, so he can develop at his pace (as long as that pace doesnt take 10 years). Conley is incredibly overrated and is only in this draft because the 2008 draft, potentially a much better draft, has much better PGs. He needs to work on his jumpshot if he wants to become an offensive threat as well, but the tools are there for him to succeed.