This time, I'm basing picks entirely on team needs—no potential trade scenarios are taken into account.
Some prevailing thoughts to share:
- Despite the incessant Brandan Wright to Atlanta rumors, I think that Billy Knight will come around on Yi Jianlian before all is said and done. Though Yi seems to have a giant question mark stamped on his forehead, he's a safer pick than Wright
- who will require at least 2 years of development and patience. Jianlian is a bonefide star in the Chinese league - having put up outstanding stats for a prolonged period of time. Knight should also realize that if Houston is marketable in China, so is Atlanta. Yi is certain to drive up revenue in ways that Wright never could.
- If (big if) the Celtics don't trade the 5 slot, I'll think they'll draft on need and select Corey Brewer. He's lock to make an immediate impact on the defensive end, and a Brewer, Rondo back court would be amongst the most athletic in the league (see Warriors).
- Jeff Green has All Star potential, but seems the most likely big name to fall if he stays in the draft. But he could do worse than landing in Philadelphia.
- Despite Chad Ford campaigning for Rodney Stuckey's arrival in Detroit, I think that Al Thornton will still be available for the Pistons at 15. If he is, it's a no-brainer. Look for the Lakers to snag Stuckey at 19 - assuming they don't move the pick to Indiana or Minnesota.
- Might come as a surprise, but I really like Marcus Williams going to the Spurs at 28. Williams is long and puts forth a great deal of effort on the defensive end. He also has a quality mid-range jumper and should be eventually steal some minutes from from the old-timers that San Antonio plays at the 3 spot.
1. Portland Trailblazers — Greg Oden
2. Seattle Sonics — Kevin Durant
3. Atlanta Hawks — Yi Jianlian
4. Memphis Grizzlies — Al Horford
5. Boston Celtics — Corey Brewer
6. Milwaukee Bucks — Mike Conley Jr.
7. Minnesota Timberwolves — Brandan Wright
8. Charlotte Bobcats — Joakim Noah
9. Chicago Bulls — Spencer Hawes
10. Sacramento Kings — Julian Wright
11. Atlanta Hawks — Javaris Critteron
12. Philadelphia 76ers — Jeff Green
13. New Orleans Hornets — Nick Young
14. L.A. Clippers — Acie Law IV
15. Detroit Pistons — Al Thornton
16. Washington Wizards — Morris Almond
17. New Jersey Nets — Thaddeus Young
18. Golden State Warriors — Josh McRoberts
19. L.A. Lakers — Rodney Stuckey
20. Miami Heat — Sean Williams
21. Philadelphia 76ers — Gabe Pruitt
22. Charlotte Bobcats — Marco Belinelli
23. New York Knicks — Derrick Byars
24. Phoenix Suns — Jason Smith
25. Utah Jazz — Rudy Fernandez
26. Houston Rockets — Taurean Green
27. Detroit Pistons — Glen Davis
28. San Antonio Spurs — Marcus Williams
29. Phoenix Suns — Tiaggo Splitter
30. Philadelphia 76ers — Jared Dudley