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1. Toronto Raptors- LaMarcus Aldridge (PF, Texas)
Yeah, a lot of people have that Italian guy Bargnani here, but there is an interesting subplot in play that I think swings this pick in favor of the Texas big man: Chris Bosh does not want them to draft Bargnani. Do I think Chris Bosh has proven himself to the level that allows him to make personnel decisions? Absolutely not. You are going to have to lead the team to the playoffs at least once before I even look at you for that kind of input. But, I am not running the Raptors, and I think Bosh’s input will weigh heavily. Look for this to all send Bargnani into possible freefall.
2. Chicago Bulls- Tyrus Thomas (PF, LSU)
Word is Michael Jordan really likes Thomas. That he is floating Brevin Knight and the #3 pick to get ahead of the Bulls here, so that he can select him. No dice. By the way, two years from now and Tyson Chandler, Tyrus Thoams, Luol Deng, Kirk Hinrich, Ben Gordon, and Andres Nocioni will be a really, really good team. If they pay them all. Funniest thing of all of this to me: This should be the Knicks pick.
3. Charlotte Bobcats- Rudy Gay (SF, Uconn)
Last time Michael Jordan had a pick this high, he went risky and came out with a poor man’s Corliss Williamson. This time a lot of people think he will go safer and pick Adam Morrison, a lock to be able to score at the next level. I disagree. The only potential superstar in this draft is Gay. He is athletic, long, can shoot, and attacks the basket. So he was lazy in college. So was Vince Carter. With a decent young supporting cast already in place and only one starting lineup hole, I think Gay steps right in here and produces.
4. Portland Trail Blazers- Adam Morrison (SF, PF Gonzaga)
Jackpot. Blazers get exactly what they wanted. Be careful what you wish for though, I think teams are nuts taking a guy who they know ahead of time has no chance to mark anyone at the positions he may be playing. He better come in an score twenty a night, because you know he is good for giving up at least that much.
5. Atlanta Hawks- Andrea Bargnanni (Tall, Italy)
Well, for weeks everyone has been saying that Shelden Williams is the pick here. Well, I do not buy that, he would be an absurd reach and Bargnanni would be a “steal.” Even if “steal” means got hot because the player he was drawing the most comparisons to (Dirk) became a superstar in the playoffs.
6. Minnesota Timberwolves- Brandon Roy (SG, Washington)
Lucky. They almost got screwed with having none of the five guys they wanted and they still might if the Hawks make a move and trade the 5th pick to the Rockets for the 8th pick.
7. Boston Celtics- Cedric Simmons (PF, NC State)
Caution: Reach and Unnecessary selection ahead. Apparently he had an excellent workout for the Celtics last week, so they think it would be a good idea to draft a guy at the same position as Al Jefferson, another young stud, plays. And I am not yet running an NBA franchise.
8. Houston Rockets- J.J. Redick (SG, Duke)
You are an NBA GM. You are deciding between one guy (Randy Foye) who will go in the next few selections or another guy (Redick) who could be around for another 15 if you do not take him. In this case, the Rockets pull a Buffalo Bills.
9. Golden State Warriors- Rodney Carney (SF, Memphis)
Wow this is going to be an athletic team. Not Carney, Richardson, or Baron Davis can a) play defense or b) shoot, but they will dunk. Yay for alley-oops. They should just call themselves George Washington University B.
10. Seattle Sonics- Shelden Williams (PF, Duke)
They are apparently in love with Williams and they catch a break because the Hawks were going to reach for him, but not with Bargnanni falling out of the top 4.
11. Orlando Magic- Randy Foye (SG, Villanova)
A steal at 11, at least Philadelphia fans can root for the magic with a backcourt of Nelson and Foye, since the Sixers have the potential to be horrible for the next ten years.
12. New Orleans Hornets- Patrick O’Bryant (C, Bradley)
And the runaway award for guy who inexpicably went from not on anyone’s radar to lottery with one game against a team with no center in the NCAA tournament goes to Patrick O’Bryant. And what have the Hornets won? A trip back to next year’s lottery. Congratulations.-
13. Philadelphia 76ers- Shawne Williams (PF, Memphis)
A 6’9 tweener, with no definable position, no defining characteristic and a guy who has risen on draft boards because of the things he can do in the weight room and how fast he is and how high he jumps. Solid. Too bad he has no position, will have a hard time scoring, and most likely will be behind Chris Webber on the depth chart so will not get enough minutes to make a difference. If the make this move, they are in the hunt for Greg Oden (which is not such a bad thing.) Come to think of it, I hope they botch the pick if they aren’t going to make a smart pick. Let’s just be happy that the salary of this pick is set, and that King can’t overpay him.
14. Utah Jazz- Saer Sene (Very Tall, Somewhere in Africa)
I’ve got nothing.