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2007 NBA Draft Preview

2007 NBA Draft Preview

2007 NBA Draft Preview
June 25th, 2007

(Sports Network) - The 2007 draft may be the start of a wild and crazy offseason in the NBA. The top two picks are expected to be franchise players who have the ability to turn a pair of clubs into instant playoff contenders.

The 2007 NBA Draft is scheduled to take place on Thursday, June 28th at The WaMu Theater at Madison Square Garden in New York. There are two rounds and a total of 60 picks will be made.

When this year's version of the NBA Draft becomes a part of history, Portland will be the big winner. While many believe the Trail Blazers are going to make Ohio State's Greg Oden the No. 1 overall selection in the draft, specualtion has arisen that Texas' Kevin Durant may have entered the picture. Both Durant and Oden are expected to be a franchise players that could make an immediate impact during their rookie seasons..

Seattle, which is expected to lose forward Rashard Lewis in free agency during the offseason, will then have the opportunity to add Oden or the multi- talented Durant with the second pick.

After Oden and Durant, nothing is guaranteed. Atlanta, Memphis and Boston round out the top-five selections. The Hawks and Grizzlies will both be happy with either Al Horford of Florida or North Carolina's Brandan Wright. If Horford and Wright go at No. 3 and No. 4, the Celtics are in a tough spot and that's where the fun may begin.

All-Stars Kobe Bryant, Kevin Garnett, Shawn Marion and Jermaine O'Neal will all be mentioned throughout draft night and into the summer as parts of major trades. The Lakers-Bryant soap opera is still in its infant stages, while Minnesota's Garnett, Marion of Phoenix and Indiana's O'Neal have heard their names come up before in trade talk.

The Celtics still want to win with Paul Pierce as one of the stars of the show. Trying to acquire Garnett, Marion or O'Neal would be a major step in that direction. If Oden, Durant, Horford and Wright are gone with the first four picks, Boston may try and use the fifth selection as a chip in a blockbuster deal to acquire an All-Star player.

Forwards Corey Brewer and Joakim Noah of Florida, Florida State's Al Thornton, Georgetown's Jeff Green, Julian Wright of Kansas, Yi Jianlian of China, and center Spencer Hawes of Washington and point guards Mike Conley of Ohio State, Texas A&M's Acie Law and Javaris Crittenton of Georgia Tech are some of the names that are expected to go in the opening round of the draft. Like drafts of year's past, there is a lot of potential, which may be the most dangerous word in sports.

Milwaukee, Minnesota, Charlotte, Chicago, Sacramento, Atlanta, Philadelphia, New Orleans and the Clippers represent the remainder of the lottery picks (1-14). The Hawks, who also own Indiana's pick from a past trade, have a chance to make a big splash with two high selections (3,11). They have needs and will be able to address them on June 28th.

Brewer and Green are ready to contribute in their rookie campaigns, while Thornton and Hawes' stock are on the rise and Conley is considered the best point guard in the draft. There are questions about Noah's ability to succeed at the next level, and Yi has impressed at his workouts but is still considered a gamble.

After careful thought, Green and Hawes decided to stay in the draft and are expected to be rewarded by being selected in the top 10. Atlanta needs a point guard and would love to get Conley with one of their picks. If the Hawks go big at No. 3, Conley will most likely be gone by the time they pick again. Crittenton or Law would be next on the board at the point.

If the Lakers, who have the 19th overall selection, decide to seriously pursue trading Bryant, Chicago is a possible fit. The Bulls have young, talented players in Luol Deng, Ben Gordon and Kirk Hinrich. The ninth overall pick would almost certainly be part of any kind of package.

The Bucks are trying to find a player at No. 6 who will fit in with a nucleus of center Andrew Bogut and sharp-shooting Michael Redd, while the Timberwolves are a team in need of direction and have to decide if Garnett is still the cornerstone of the franchise. The Bobcats are trying to become a playoff contender, the Kings, who missed the playoffs for the first time in nine years, hope the 10th overall pick will help get them back to the postseason and Philadelphia is rebuilding. The Clippers and Hornets are playoff contenders who would like to add someone who can contribute right away.

Atlanta (3, 11) Charlotte (8, 22), Detroit (15, 27) and Phoenix (24, 29) all own a pair of first-round picks, while Philadelphia has three (12, 21, 30). Cleveland, Denver, Indiana and Toronto are all shut out with no picks heading into the draft. Dallas and Orlando don't have a first-round selection this year.

Oden and Durant make this a solid draft. Trade talk could steal the spotlight after the first two picks, as teams like Boston, Minnesota and the Lakers may be looking to make a big splash with a mind-boggling deal.

It should be an entertaining night for NBA fans.

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Re: 2007 NBA Draft Preview

NBA Draft: Who follows Oden and Durant?
June 25th, 2007

Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) - Not since 2003 when the likes of LeBron James, Carmelo Anthony, and Dwyane Wade were available, has there been this much anticipation for the NBA draft. Greg Oden and Kevin Durant will go one- two, but the talent doesnt end there. Floridas big three - Al Horford, Corey Brewer and Joakim Noah - will all be top 10 picks, and point guard, Mike Conley, Jr. will be drafted soon after his longtime teammate, Oden goes to Portland.

Not only is there a wealth of one-year collegiate stars on hand, more juniors and seniors will be selected in the top half of this draft than in the previous couple of years. All in all, its a great mix of players, with talent spread out fairly evenly after the first four or five picks. There also may not be much difference between a player selected sixth and the one who goes 11th.

With that in mind, its time to get right to the 2007 NBA mock draft starting off with the obvious choices for Portland and Seattle. There are no odds listed for those two clubs since its pretty much a given that Oden and Durant will go first and second, respectively. Betting opportunities are available for picks three through 11.

1) Portland - The Trailblazers will land their best center since the championship days of Bill Walton. It might take a couple of years for Greg Oden to develop his game on the pro level, but he will be a force for years to come.

2) Seattle - Kevin Durant is not a bad consolation prize as he, like Brandon Roy of a year ago, is the most NBA-ready player in the draft. The one-year Longhorn will hit for 20 points or more in his first NBA season.

3) Atlanta - After failing to select a point guard in previous drafts, one would expect the Hawks to nail down Mike Conley, Jr. However, they do hold the 11th pick and most likely will be able to obtain Acie Law or Javaris Crittenton at that slot. Look for them to go for Al Horford with the third pick at the chalky odds of -350.

4) Memphis - With Mike Conley, Jr. available, expect the Grizzlies to jump all over him with the fourth choice. It will be interesting to see how he does without having Oden alongside him since high school, but dont forget, there were many occasions this year when the Buckeyes played better when Oden was on the bench. Take Conley, Jr. at +170.

5) Boston - This is where the draft could become unstable. The Celtics may be involved in different types of trades, but if they stay put, GM Danny Ainge is enamored with Yi Jianlian. Hes the fourth choice behind Corey Brewer, Jeff Green and the field, so go with him at +350.

6) Milwaukee - The Bucks will have a choice to make at number six. Since Boston went with Jianlian instead of Green, they will have to decide on either the former Georgetown star or Corey Brewer. My money is on Green at +350, even though Brewer will be the much better pro.

7) Minnesota - The Timberwolves pick could revolve around a pre-draft trade if Kevin Garnett goes elsewhere. Nonetheless, they cant believe Brewer is still on the board and swoop him up very quickly. Hes the third player in a row at the generous price of +350.

8) Charlotte - If North Carolina forward Brandan Wright slips past Milwaukee and Minnesota, and thats the way its looking, the Bobcats will gobble him up in a heartbeat. Wrights not even listed as a possibility for pick number eight since he was expected to go much earlier. So take the field as the third choice at +250.

9) Chicago - The Bulls would love to get their hands on a power forward/center and theres one waiting right there for them in Joakim Noah. Hell supply some much needed inside rebounding to help Ben Wallace underneath. Hes also the fifth choice at the exorbitant odds of +450. This is the best value play in the top 11.

10) Sacramento - The Kings need tons of help and could go one of two ways - best player available, which would be Al Thornton, or filling a need underneath with Spencer Hawes. Sacramento will find it hard to pass up the explosive attack of Thornton, so take the Florida State forward at the low odds of +250.

11) Atlanta - The Hawks have their choice of point guards in hometown Javaris Crittenton or the more polished Acie Law. Crittenton fought the "Law" and the "Law" won. Take Acie at the favored odds of +175.

12) Philadelphia - The Sixers would love to trade up to get either Green or Thornton but have to settle on either Julian Wright or center Spencer Hawes. Since Wrights game may not translate to the next level, GM Billy King goes big to get some help for Samuel Dalembert and takes Hawes.

13) New Orleans - Not many teams in this draft are in the market for a two- guard so the Hornets are a shoo-in to pick USCs Nick Young.

14) LA Clippers - The Clippers thought they had their point guard of the future with Shaun Livingston, but he will miss at least half of next year with torn knee ligaments. Look for Los Angeles to select whichever point guard Atlanta doesnt and that should be Jarvaris Crittenton.

15) Detroit - The Pistons need another guard if they cant re-sign Chauncey Billups, who opted to become an unrestricted free agent and Rodney Stuckey is the best available talent.

16) Washington - The Wizards select Julian Wright, despite his inability to shoot at a consistent level.

17) New Jersey - When Richard Jefferson went down last season, the Nets were left with two offensive options - Vince Carter and Jason Kidd. Look for that to change with the addition of Georgia Tech forward Thaddeus Young.

18) Golden State - What a wonderful year it was for the Warriors, but rebounding was a major issue. That will be remedied with the selection of Colorado States center Jason Smith.

19) LA Lakers - A tall point guard would be a nice addition to the triangle offense and Petteri Koponen would be the wise choice.

20) Miami - The Heat take the multi-dimensional but soft forward from Duke, Josh McRoberts.

21) Philadelphia - The Sixers second pick will provide more scoring punch from the second unit and that will be Rudy Fernandez, although he most likely will play one more year in Europe.

22) Charlotte - The Hornets love the basketball ability of Sean Williams. Most teams do, however, were scared off by his dismissal from Boston College. Charlotte takes the chance.

23) NY Knicks - New York needs a lot to take its game to the next level and big-time scorer Morris Almond of Rice fits the bill.

24) Phoenix - The Suns like Tiago Splitter if they were sure he would come to the States this upcoming season, but that may not be the case. Either way, hes too good a talent to pass up at this slot.

25) Utah - The Jazz need another wing scorer and Vanderbilts Derrick Byars is their man.

26) Houston - Sean Williams would be the pick if he was available, but hes not, so the Rockets go for Nevadas Nick Fazekas.

27) Detroit - Boston College has another player that will be a first-round pick besides Williams and its the versatile Jared Dudley. He will fit right in with the Pistons.

28) San Antonio - The Spurs have been the most successful team at the draft the last decade and it continues with sharpshooter Marco Belinelli.

29) Phoenix - The Suns could trade this pick, but if they dont, look for them to select another Ohio State freshman, Daequan Cook.

30) Philadelphia - With their third first-rounder and the final pick in the round, the 76ers take Gabe Pruitt.

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