It feels like X-Mas Homeboys! The Inaugural Greg Gamble 2007 NBA/Hot Model Draft. I’m not gonna tell you what will happen…I’m gonna tell you what should happen! In my humble, but correct opinion, the stupidest thing I always hear (besides what was said by Tim Hardaway) is: WE TOOK THE BEST PLAYER AVAILABLE! Attention NBA GMs, this is not the NFL draft…you have one round to improve your team and prevent your superstar from requesting a trade! (FYI, the 2nd round doesn’t mean “Naja Devenport squatting in a closet” because of the short-term contracts.) There are only 5 guys on the court at a time (the Knicks should get six), so maybe, just maybe the so-called NBA architects might want to actually grab someone they need! As for my mock draft, it’s pretty straight forward. I wish I had the luxury of proposing some trades in this draft, but there was high-roller game of Golden Tee going on last night and I tried to win my lady that white tiger she's always wanted. If you don’t like I how I roll, go ahead and read the mock drafts from the gurus who get lied to by every GM so they can lay a smoke-screen that would make Nate Newton proud!
Before I start, of course Kevin Durant probably will be the next superstar, but for the first time since I lost my virginity…I’m going conservative. Greg Oden is my #1 pick with one caveat…the most logical blockbuster trade to bring both Pacific Northwest teams immediately closer to 10 years of dominance that would make Ron Jermey proud. Are you ready…the former Jailblazers trade the problematic, yet unstoppable low-post threat Zach Randolph to Seattle for Rashard Lewis (sign-n-trade), since Mr. Durant is the new sheriff in Starbuck’s land. (If the teams want to throw in another player or need to match salaries…fine). With Jesus Shuttlesworth (Ray Allen) and Kevin Durant spotting-up on the perimeter, how the hell are teams going to double baby-face Zach on the block. As for Portland, they free-up a spot alongside Grandpa Oden with silent-sleeper LaMarcus Aldridge and now have Brandon Roy & Rashard Lewis on the wing. They re-sign Steve Blake to split-time with Jarrett Jack, instruct them never to shoot, and we now have the top young team in the NBA. Got it…here we go!
1. Portland Trailblazers
GREG ODEN C 7-0 245 lbs Ohio St. Age: 19
The unique aspect of Oden’s game is his subtle athleticism. The dude runs the floor better then most PFs and has deceptive hops to immediately become one of the top defensive forces in the game. Sure, his detractors will say he has some lingering injuries and no passion, but I believe his quiet passion rivals the likes of Tim Duncan…only with a better smile. If I was a team without so many pieces in place, maybe I take Durant, but today I’m the GM and I already have Rashard Lewis coming to town to play SF...Oden is my man.
2. Seattle Supersonics
KEVIN DURANT SF 6-10 190 lbs Texas Age: 18
Easy pick here, and much cheaper than re-signing Rashard. I do believe he’ll need a lil’ more time to adjust than people think, but if he’s so weak how’d he lead the Big 12 in rebounding. Did this draft screw the East or what?!
3. Atlanta Hawks
JOAKIM NOAH C 6-11 230 lbs Florida Age: 22
Listen, of course the Hawks should trade down and grab Noah later since so many teams think Horford is the messiah…so for sake of arguement let’s pretend they swap with Milwaukee at #6. With two picks in the top 11 and more talent on the wings and at the 4 spot then people give them credit for…why not take what they need. While Zaza Pachulia has been better than expected in the middle, he’d look even sweeter than Jessica Alba in anything splitting time with Noah. The Hawks have way too many wannabe scoreres looking at the rim or for Dominique Wilkins poster spots, which would make Joakim a welcome addition since he provides the athleticism and intangibles to match their current flare. Hot-lanta could slide down a few spots, pick-up another piece to their improving puzzle, and make Spud Webb proud to say he was a Hawk.!
4. Memphis Grizzlies
AL HORFORD PF 6-9 235 lbs Florida Age: 20
To be honest, Horford has been one of my favorite prospects over the last two years. With that said, I’m absolutely shocked so many GMs think he could be the next Moses Malone. Sure, he has all the skills to do everything you need out of a PF, but too many times I saw him coast thru games in college. While he definitely has the footwork and frame to become a solid back-to-the-basket scorer, because of his sick Gator teammates he had a much easier time than most other low-block scorers in the draft. I still luv his whole package (that doesn’t sound good), but I think he’s farther away from stardom then people think.
5. Boston Celtics
YI JIANLIAN PF 7-0 245 lbs China Age: 19-22
I know he’s faced poor competition and will take a few years to develop, but this guy is so smoother than Tom Brady at a Victoria Secret’s convention, and at his size, will not be the flop most so-called experts think. He’s better around the basket then given credit for and will stretch defenses with his perimeter game. Especially for a team like Boston that likes to use Pierce & Jefferson on the block, he’ll free-up the lane and can put the ball the floor as well as any big-man in the draft. As for all the talk about him coasting at times, what do expect from a guy playing year round in China. He’s a can’t miss in Greggy G’s world.
6. Milwaukee Bucks
MIKE CONLEY PG 6-0 170 Ohio St. Age: 19
Nobody needs Conley more than the Bucks. If I was the GM in Milwaukee, I’d trade-up with Atlanta to make sure I get him. Of course he needs to buy Tony Parker a nice wedding present for making his stock sky-rocket, but he’s the distributor and speed demon that will look even better against the slow, undersized bigs in the East. Yeah, his jump-shot needs work, but he’s smart and disciplined enough to realize he can use his unstoppable ability to penetrate until his jumper develops.
7. Minnesota Timberwolves
BRANDON WRIGHT PF 6-11 210 lbs UNC Age: 19
Nobody’s stock has rumored to have fallen more than Wright. You know what I think…it’s bull-shiznit from GMs hoping to steal him. With his wingspan and ability to finish over opponents, nobody has a higher ceiling in this draft outside of Durant and Oden. Make the right more for once Mr. McHale!
8. Charlotte Bobcats
COREY BREWER SG 6-8 185 lbs Florida Age: 21
Everyone says the Cats O’ Bob are trading this pick, but if Brewer slips this far there is no way ‘His Airness’ passes on Brewer with Gerald Wallace probably leaving town. Brewer can do-it-all, especially defensively, and can immediately step-in and become a starter at SG/SF in the NBA. While his combination of size and ballhandling are what make GMs drool, I love his unselfishness and ability to make his teammates better at both ends of the floor. While they already have Van Morrison, there’s nuttin wrong with admitting you made a mistake.
9. Chicago Bulls
SPENCER HAWES C 7-0 230 lbs Wash. Age: 19
If Paxson, Skiles, & Co. don’t have the balls to trade for Gasol (I’ve conceded the price on Garnett is ridiculous), the need somebody, anybody, that can play with their back-to-the-basket. While still a couple years away from banging in the NBA, nobody has a better array of post-moves or mid-range game at the center position. In addition, what better way to let him develop then having the protection of Big Ben in the frontcourt and a roster full of hardworking youngsters.
JEFF GREEN SF 6-9 225 lbs GTown Age: 20
The Maloofs desperately need to go big, but I have feeling all of them will be off the board. While most mock drafts have Green higher, it’s tough to see how the jack of trades, master of none, will be chosen ahead of the phenoms on this year’s board. Green is an excellent passer and has remarkable bball IQ, and would be perfect change for team looking to ship Ron-Ron out of town.
ACIE LAW PG 6-3 185 lbs Texas A&M Age: 22
All the talk is of the Hawks trading this pick (Luke Ridenour…are you kidding me), but if the Hawks can pull Noah and Law in this draft their smarter than I thought. Sure this is a little high for Law, but the Hawks don’t need another high-flying youngster. Everybody says Law is too much of scorer to be a tradition point, but I think he’s smart enough to realize he will make a ton of money if he utilizes his ability as a distributor. Already possessing the tools of a crafty veteran, I think he’s perfect fit for ATL.
JASON SMITH PF 7-0 230 lbs Colo St. Age: 21
The 76ers already have a athletic wing (Andre Iguodala), an awesome playmaker and leader on the fast break (Andre Miller), and a defensive stopper in the middle (Sammy D), but they still need a shooting guard and power forward to fit their system. While Nick Young (SG) would also be an excellent fit, it’s much easier to find guard at #21 or #30 than a 7-footer that can play power forward. Jason Smith is a solid athlete with a soft shooting tough to play perfectly along Sam, and will flourish playing in the up-tempo style in Philly.
13.New Orleans Hornets
NICK YOUNG SG 6-6 200 lbs USC Age: 21
Once again, rumor has Young going earlier, but he’s an absolute perfect fit alongside Chris Paul. A deadly shooter with nice size for a SG, Byron Scott will finally have a starting five that perfectly fits his style and gives CP3 the shooters he needs to become an MVP candidate in 3 years.
14.Los Angeles Clippers
JAVARIS CRITTENTON PG 6-5 180 lbs GT Age: 19
While Crittenton is at least 2 years away from contributing, with Sam Cassell still running the show for a couple years and the catastrophic injury to Shaun Livingston, Javaris has Clipper written all over him. Most mock drafts have him lower, but his size, pretty jumper, and athleticism make it hard to thing he’s slipping out of the lottery. Once again, GMs are lying to the experts.
AL THORNTON SF 6-7 210 lbs FL St. Age: 23
Most mock’s have the Seminole higher, but with the star-potential of the youngsters available ahead of him, it’s tough to see them justify taking a 23 year-old who couldn’t lead his Seminole team into the top-half of the ACC. Thornton is a ridiculous athlete who could shoot the college three, and is probably the most NBA-ready prospect, outside of Durant and Oden, to contribute next year. A perfect fit for a Pistons squad thinking they’re still in the hunt for another title.
JULIAN WRIGHT SF 6-9 220 lbs Kansas Age:20
Mr. Wright is one of those players that has always looked like an NBA superstar, but has never shown greatness at the college level. He has a great handle and NBA body to potentially play a Scottie Pippen role, but I have feeling he’s going to take longer than most experts think to contribute at the NBA level. With Caron Butler hitting his prime and Jarvis Hayes never living up to expectations, the Wiz make a perfect destination for this Jayhawk.!
17.New Jersey Nets
SEAN WILLIAMS C 6-10 230 lbs BC Age: 20
A top 10 pick before the wacky-weed took over, nobody can immediately contribute on the defensive end, outside of Oden, like Williams. The Nets are desperately trying to find some frontcourt toughness that will also stay out of the way of Kidd, RJ, & Vinsanity, and nobody fits that role like Williams. Hopefully, his roll won’t be disrupted by something he rolls.
18.Golden St. Warriors
GABE PRUITT PG 6-4 170 lbs USC Age: 21
Once again, Don Nelson is trying to out-think himself and trade some of the pieces that made them the most exciting team in the postseason. A tweak here and tweak there and the Warriors could be right back in the second round next year. Everybody knows you need plenty of bodies behind Baron Davis’s injury-prone one, and Pruitt has all the tools to be a back-up point tomorrow. The Warriors have desperately tried to teach Monta Ellis the role, but he’s simply a scorer in a point guard’s body. Paging Earl Boykins…Paging Earl Boykins!
19.Los Angeles Lakers
THADDEUS YOUNG SF 6-8 210 lbs GTech Age: 18
Who knows what’s going on in Lakerland. I’m sure Kupchak will try to keep Kobe in-town by getting the best NBA ready player available, but GM Greggy G knows that’s a lost cause. The Lake Show needs star power and nobody has more untapped potential in this draft than Thaddeus Young. If Kobe ends up leaving this year or next, Thaddeus is the man that could keep Jack Nicholson coming to the Staples Center with hotties for years.
WILSON CHANDLER SF 6-8 230 lbs DePaul Age: 20
I’ve seen Chandler up-close in Chi-town and he’s the real deal. The knocks that he’s a step slow and doesn’t have a motor for the NBA are false…and I wouldn’t be surprised if he has more of an immediate impact than Julius Wright in year one. A better than advertised deep threat, Chandler can score from almost anywhere and is a perfect replacement or understudy for James Posey.
RODNEY STUCKEY SG 6-4 205 lbs E. Wash Age: 21
Everybody has Stuckey heading to the Pistons at 15, or even higher, but I think it’s a smokescreen. While he’s a solid defender and could even slide over to play the point in a crunch, I can’t see him hitting the lottery as an undersize 2 coming from Eastern Washington. If the Sixers draft big early, they’ll have an opportunity to shore-up their other spot alongside Andre Miller. The may take a look at the deadly shooter like Morris Almond, but he’s not the defender Stuckey is and they already have Kyle Korver as their deep-threat who can’t play D.
MORRIS ALMOND SG 6-6 215 lbs Rice Age: 22
While I just knocked Almond at 21, if the Cats O’ Bob grab the defensive stopper Brewer at #8, Almond makes perfect sense here. I pure scorer who’s lights-out from long-range, my guess is he’ll develop as a defender much faster than the Gonzaga hyped-star and will split-time nicely with Matt Carroll.
23.New York Knicks
MARCO BELINELLI SG 6-6 200 lbs Italy Age: 21
The Knicks are desperate for a shooter that can come in immediately and contribute. Q Richardson’s back is worse than Peter North’s partners and Jared Jefferies couldn’t hit an open J if Reggie Miller was his shooting coach. As for Belinelli, he’s a better athlete than advertised and can light-it-up from downtown. With Cheesburger Eddy commanding a double-team, I don’t know how Zeke doesn’t grab the Italian.
PETTERI KOPONEN PG/SG 6-4 194 lbs Finland Age: 19
The surprise of the pre-draft workouts, Koponen is interesting combo-guard that has the creative style that D’Antoni loves. In addition, the Suns can keep him overseas to prevent him from adding to their rapidly rising salary-cap number.
DAEQUAN COOK SG 6-6 205 lbs Ohio St. Age: 20
Everybody knows the Jazz are a shooting guard away from competing for the top spot in the West. Unfortunately, at #25 they won’t find anybody to help them next year. If Sloan is smart, he’ll take the best 2 available and continue to stock potential chips to play that role. Cook is unbelievable talent that is stuck in a draft full of supposed can’t miss prospects and could end-up being one of the best shooting guards down the line. A versatile scorer who reminds me of a rich man’s DeShawn Stevenson, Sloan should find a veteran to play the role next year at let Deaquan, Ronnie Brewer (who may end-up playing SF if AK-47 is dealt), & C.J. Miles battle-out for his 2008 shooting guard spot.
NICK FAZEKAS PF 6-11 225 lbs Nevada Age: 22
Since Juwan Howard was shipped out of town, the Rockets only have the undersized Chuck Hayes at PF. With the Great Wall of Ming getting better by the minute on the block and T-Mac basically running the point, new headmaster Rick Adelman needs somebody to stay out of the way. Hi, my name is Nick Fazekas and I will spread the floor like T.T Boy after a long hiatus. Fazekas has been getting a bad rap since he’s no Tyrus Thomas, but the dude basically averaged 20 and 10 for three years and shot 43% from behind the arc last year. Why not let him bring-out opponents bigs and spot-up for the Ming/McGrady kick-out…sounds like a plan to me.
GLEN DAVIS PF 6-9 290 lbs LSU Age: 21
In my own draft, I don’t know how Big Baby slipped this far. When he does, Joe Dumars will be glad he hired me to help him with the draft. I know they already have Jason Maxiel, but seriously…he’s barely 6-7 and will never be more than a back-up PF. Especially since Joey D is trying his hardest to rid himself of Rasheed, this is a perfect pick. Trust me, Davis understands the 60,000 jokes about his weight and will use his first contract to hire the best nutritionist to make sure he doesn’t blow-up like Boris Diaw…until he signs his second NBA contract. The dude is a beast down-low, has a nice mid-range game, and is a better athlete than advertised. Just like Al Thornton at #15, the Pistons have somebody that can help them tomorrow.
28.San Antonio Spurs
DEREK BYERS SF 6-7 220 lbs Vndblt Age: 23
I know Jared Dudley is the sexy pick, but Derek Byers is the more athletic pick to be Bruce Bowen's apprentice. Derek even has a lil’ outside J like Big Shot Rob…write-it down, take a picture, I don’t give a f*ck!
ARRON AFFLALO SG 6-5 210 lbs UCLA Age: 21
The dude is a younger version of Raja Bell…what else needs to be said?
RUDY FERNANDEZ SG 6-6 172 lbs Spain Age: 22
In Greggy G’s GM world, you’d hope to have six picks so the day is extra special, but I give the Sixers credit for having three. I love Rudy, especially the movie, and he’s a top-20 pick if his Euro contract wasn’t so bad. Fernandez is a freakish athlete who has an eye for the lane, but more importantly, could sit overseas while they figure out if Greggy G’s pick of the Eastern Washington kid was a good one at #21.
Spain and 76ers both of red on their team jerseys!
Picture me Strollin’,