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NBA Mock Draft (The Trifecta …Picks 21-30)

21. Philadelphia 76ers- Josh McRoberts, F, Duke

The second of three first rounders the Sixers have, Philly is going big on this one.  Problem is, this is Josh McRoberts after his sophomore year at Duke, not his senior year of high school at Carmel, Indiana.  He could earn a starting spot in Philadelphia as they need to draft more big men.  Josh McRoberts being rated this high proves how overrated this draft is.

22. Charlotte Bobcats- Derrick Byars, F, Vanderbilt

He might just be one of the most versatile players in this draft.  At 6’7’’, he can play the point, off-guard, and small forward spots.  He’s someone new head coach Sam Vincent can use to give opposing teams headaches defending. This might be the best pure shooter in this draft.  Shooting-wise, he’s the anti-Adam Morrison.  This pick could make their guards except Raymond Felton lethal jump shooters.

23. New York Knicks- Marco Belinelli, G, Italy

Some sites are comparing Belinelli to a young Ray Allen.  He better be that good since the Knicks need a shooter.  Did I mention the Knicks could really use the #9 pick?  Just making sure. Now there are rumors floating around that this pick is promised to DePaul sophomore Wilson Chandler.  Isiah needs to know that there IS a second round in this draft if these rumors are true. Isiah Thomas can draft, that’s for sure, so I expect him to combat this great move by trading David Lee for Brian Cardinal straight up.  Go NY! Go NY! Go!

24. Phoenix Suns- Aaron Brooks, G, Oregon

Now that we know the Marcus Banks experiment has officially failed, the Suns can use this pick to draft the guard who will one day replace Steve Nash.  Brooks seems like a good candidate for that job and can be a spark plug alongside Leandro Barbosa on the 2nd unit.

25. Utah Jazz- Tiago Splitter, F, Brazil

The most enigmatic player in this draft, Splitter’s contract with Tau Vitoria in Spain needs to be bought out before he plays (it is reported to be a $500,000 buyout.).  Splitter could go anywhere from 11-25 in this draft.  This buyout clause will scare many teams away as some feel that he has regressed in his development while in Spain.  I think he is another big man that can help Mehmet Okur, Carlos Boozer, and Paul Millsap.  If they can get Splitter over here, we will finally be able to see whether he is worth the hype he was given a couple of years ago.  Simply put: ESPN International Analyst Fran Fraschilla will have a busy night.

26. Houston Rockets- Sean Williams, C, Boston College

This is a risky pick.  This has nothing to do with his skills on the court, but for why he was kicked off the Boston College basketball team this year.  People questioned his dedication to the game after he was kicked off for smoking marijuana.  If he could get his act together, he’d be the absolute steal of the draft.  However, if he messes up, then it’s a wasted pick.  This is one to think about because the cons could outweigh the pros.  It’s up to Sean to work on that.  A Texan, he possesses scary shot blocking ability.  This pick can fill the void Juwan Howard left when he was traded last week to the Timberwolves.

27. Detroit Pistons- Petteri Koponen, G, Finland

This will be Joe Dumars’ apology to the Pistons fans for drafting Darko Milicic 2nd overall in 2003 (It was still a good pick, no matter what people say).  Koponen isn’t ready yet, but he can stash him away overseas for another year until he is ready.  They have a budding star in Amir Johnson, so it would be right to develop a young PG in case Billups is not long for Detroit.  Dumars has the freedom to take a gamble on this pick, especially if he picks Rodney Stuckey at #15.

28. San Antonio Spurs- Jared Dudley, F, Boston College

Usually, the Spurs will draft someone and keep him stashed away until he’s ready.  Last time, it was Ian Mahimni.  This year, they’ll go after the potential understudy to Bruce Bowen, a tough-as-nails defender who can blossom into a good role player once Bowen retires.  He could learn a lot from that savvy crew of boring veterans.

29. Phoenix Suns- Ali Traore, F, France

The Suns will rip a page out of Brian Colangelo’s book and go international with this pick, but if the Suns trade Shawn Marion, he could see more playing time than I anticipate alongside fellow Frenchman Boris Diaw.  It’s a low risk pick as the Suns will be looking to wheel and deal.

 

30. Philadelphia 76ers- Taurean Green, G, Florida

Although the Sixers’ biggest need is another big man to play alongside Samuel Dalembert, this is a good pick as they also need a PG.  Andre Miller might not be there by the time Philly is done rebuilding and Louis Williams is not developing fast enough.  Taurean Green is a savvy PG who comes from a winning tradition in Gainesville.  Green has shot up some mock boards due to his impressive workouts.  With a second round pick later in this draft, Philly could turn out to be the draft’s big winners… that is after the Trail Blazers (who have 4 second rounders) and Sonics.

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