Crushed Optimists

We are twin brothers who grew up in Central Washington. This blog is devoted to the life of Seattle sports fans, as well as various other topics that we will espouse for your enjoyment. We could be called another OFFICIAL SEATTLE SEAHAWKS site, but we'll take our uneducated crack at the Mariners, Sonics, and Huskies as well. A Seattle Sports Blog? Must be the land... of crushed optimism!

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

NBA Mock Draft: Gavin Edition

Here's how this one goes... I don't know much of anything about international prospects, I generally distrust them because they fail miserably far too often. Therefore, I will be giving US college players the benefit of the doubt when picks come around. Also, as I stated yesterday, this is a very weak draft, so if I was any team in the top 10 I would seriously consider trading for picks next year. There isn't a single player (seriously) in this draft who can take a team to the promised land.

1. Toronto - Adam Morrison
This is a tough call. I'm not a big fan of the Andrea Bargnani rumors here, if only because I'm not sure why the Raptors want another skilled big man to group with Chris Bosh and Charlie Villanueva, especially when they have such larger needs around the rest of the roster. They need a scorer. Morrison fits that bill, and with a big enough backline his defensive deficiencies should be masked.

2. Chicago - LaMarcus Aldridge
Going with Tyrus Thomas here wouldn't be a bad move either, as the Bulls are in the enviable position of drafting a high player into a decent team. Both players are PFs with athleticism, who can push Tyson Chandler into refining his game or sitting.

3. Charlotte - Brandon Roy
I don't see a better SG in this draft, and that's what Charlotte needs. They got their point guard of the future last season in Raymond Felton, and have a rising front court with Emeka Okeafor and Sean May. Adding a versatile leader like Roy to the mix, and someone a coach like Bernie Bickerstaff would adore, would make Bobcat fans feel pretty darn good.

4. Portland - Tyrus Thomas
Portland has needs everywhere. Thomas does need a lot of work on his offensive game, but he gives the type of effort Nate McMillan loves. He will shore up the defense in a Shaun Marion way, and grab some boards in the meantime. Basically, he can create his offensive game while already being a more valuable player than either Darius Miles or Zach Randolph.

5. Atlanta - Marcus Williams
Atlanta needs a point guard... badly. If they do anything but get a point guard, this will be another wasted draft. I'm not sure why more teams aren't high on Williams, he has the size, shooting, and touch to really succeed in the NBA. In my opinion, he was the best player on that UConn team.

6. Minnesota - Randy Foye
This pick comes down to Foye and Bargnani, and (as stated above) I go with the proven commodity for the Timberwolves, who are looking to add another scorer to the mix, and might be without Rashad McCants for the season. Foye and Brandon Roy might as well be twins, their game is so similar.

7. Boston - Andrea Bargnani
Bargnani's the best available player at this point (even above Rudy Gay... more on that in a second), and the Celtics could use a little more size, since their younger bigs are a tad smallish. This is a question mark, and I personally believe the Celtics are going to trade around for something better.

8. Houston - Shelden Williams
The Rockets' could go with Rudy Gay and some possible scoring punch to go with Tracy McGrady, could go with JJ Redick to open the floor up more, but I feel they should settle with a known big man to help take the load off Yao Ming. Stromile Swift was, to be nice, a major bust. For Ming to ever come close to the hype he entered the league with, this team desperately needs a better interior presence.

9. Golden State - Rudy Gay
Finally, the Warriors can draft a player to make Mike Dunleavy obsolete. They have a similar skill set except that Gay can actually play basketball. Whether or not he can come close to corralling his talent is up in the air (I would put myself in the detractor camp at this stage) but his athleticism will pair nicely with Baron Davis and Jason Richardson.

10. Seattle - JJ Redick
First off, I say we trade this pick. This is a weak draft, we don't have a lot of holes, and we will be spending a lot of money here on a specialist. However, Redick would love playing in Seattle. Teams would be focusing so much on Rashard/Ray/Wilcox that he would be asked to do nothing but be a pinpoint specialist. That gives us the chance to be something special. Now, his defense is sub-Ridnour, and I'm not sure I like that, but beyond Ray we couldn't buy a three in enough games. Redick gives us what we need. If they aren't off the board, I also would like Morrison (yeah, right), Roy, Foye, Shelden Williams, and Marcus Williams. I do not want a center with "upside". We don't need it, people.

11. Orlando - Patrick O'Bryant
I might like Josh Boone/Cedric Simmons better here, but O'Bryant could give Orlando one heck of a front line with Darko Milicic and Dwight Howard. An actual center could turn Howard into an Amare Stoudamire-like Beast.

12. New Orleans - Josh Boone
I admit it, I like Boone a lot more than most pundits. I'm not sure what happened this year to hurt his stock, but if you're a team like New Orleans who needs another big to play with David West (Aaron Williams and PJ Brown aren't answers), I think you could do a lot worse than Boone. He will block shots and rebound, he rarely got into foul trouble with UConn, and his offensive game is decent around the rim.

13. Philadelphia - Ronnie Brewer
The 76ers can't give up on Samuel Dalembert yet, and getting another uber-athlete who is almost the twin of Andre Iguodala would work well. With Iverson at the point, Brewer and Iguodala at the 2-3, Webber 4, Dalembert 5, the Sixers might actually be able to help address some of their defensive problems and at least play some exciting basketball.

14. Utah Jazz - Rodney Carney
Carney is another underrated player in this draft. He is smart, athletic, defends, and shoots the ball well. In other words, he's the perfect player for a Jerry Sloan system. The Jazz are definitely missing a solid athletic shooter to spread the floor, and Carney gives them that in spades.

15. New Orleans - Maurice Ager
After getting a solid Center earlier in Boone, the Hornets can draft the next shooting guard on my list in Ager. Michigan St players are smart and tough, and Ager definitely fits the mold. He also can light up the scoreboard, as evidenced in that insane Gonzaga game in Hawaii at the beginning of the season. When compared to some of the more overrated guards in this draft (looking at you Jordan Farmar), Ager presents a much better known quantity.

16. Chicago - Daniel Gibson
This could be considered a reach, but we are at a point in the draft when most players can be considered fairly equal from a talent standpoint. The Bulls have a terrific point guard in Kirk Hinrich, but getting another good ball handler in Gibson is also a necessity (ask Seattle). I like Gibson more than the other point guards in this draft, and while he had stretches of inconsistency, his potential is superior. Since again the Bulls have Hinrich (and drafted teammate Aldridge earlier in this mock draft) they can give Gibson a good role model and a good system to get acclimated to the league.

17. Indiana - Cedric Simmons
The Pacers need some frontcourt help, with the question mark that Jermaine O'Neal has become. Simmons is overrated by Chad Ford, but fits nicely in the middle of the first round. He is a slightly smaller and more athletic version of Shelden Williams.

18. Washington - Hilton Armstrong
Washington needs someone who can play defense. Anyone who watched their playoff matchup with Cleveland would say that. So of course Chad Ford has them getting a mediocre point guard. Go Ford! Armstrong can't do much offensively, but he sure can play defense. He'd be an excellent fit for the Wizards.

19. Sacramento - Kyle Lowry
I do like Lowry's game, and Sacramento needs some defense/ball handling. Mike Bibby isn't going to last forever, and if the ball doesn't move through his hands, the Kings have major problems. The addition of Ron Artest midseason helped solidify the frontline, but more out of the guard position will determine the Kings' fate next season.

20. New York - Shawne Williams
I have to be honest, I don't know what the heck the Knicks could do here to affect their team in the long run. They have so much money tied up in so many players that a rookie is going to be hard pressed to even find playing time. However, at least Williams has some athleticism and upside, perhaps going down to the D-league to get playing time will make him a solid addition in a year or two.

21. Phoenix - Sergio Rodriguez
I'm actually going with Chad Ford here. Mike D'Antoni plays an international style of basketball, needing an intelligent point guard is a must. Rodriguez is experienced in the up-and-down atmosphere, and could actually provide a backup that gives Steve Nash valuable rest.

22. New Jersey - Leon Powe
Look past the injury problems, Powe could easily have been named the Pac-10 player of the year instead of Brandon Roy. The Nets found out the hard way what happens when you depend on Nenad Krstic to be a dependable scorer in the postseason. They need more out of the interior. Powe will be important to take more pressure off Carter/Kidd/Jefferson.

23. New Jersey - Shannon Brown
After getting a big, another scorer off the bench is in the cards for the Nets. Brown can also play pretty darn good defense. If I'm New Jersey, I'm keeping these picks. They need to build depth in the worst possible way.

24. Memphis - Dee Brown
Not sure why Brown has also seen his stock dramatically decrease this season, just because teams in the competitive Big 10 focused their entire defense on stopping him doesn't mean he regressed. Memphis has the big men they need, now they need to add some more athleticism and scoring punch. Brown and last year's pick Hakim Warrick are good steps in the right direction.

25. Cleveland - Rajon Rondo
I admit it, I'm not a huge fan of Rondo. I think he's vastly overrated. Still, the Cavs really need a point guard and if Rondo isn't taken in the top 20, he probably would be worth a shot here. I'm torn, because Darius Washington might be a better pick. In fact, I'm leaning this way as I'm writing this. Either way would be better than Flip Murray.

26. LA Lakers - Taj Gray
After a so-so year, Gray's stock has fallen in the draft, and some even have him going undrafted. That, after he was the top ju-co player from two years back. The Lakers need some size, need more athleticism, need more smarts, rebounding, etc. Gray is the best player left to help them down that path.

27. Phoenix - Kevin Pittsnogle
I know, this seems like a reach. Bear with me. The Suns need more size. Pittsnogle does have size, he can defend, if not like a Bo Outlaw, he won't embarrass Phoenix. He can run, and, best of all, he can shoot the three as well as anyone in this draft. To me, he's a perfect fit for the Phoenix system.

28. Dallas - Mike Gansey
Another West Virginia man gets some love from Gavin. Dallas has most positions set, most of the depth set. It seemed to me that they ran into problems against Miami when the Heat started playing a zone and collapsing on Nowitzki. Jason Terry became the only Maverick player capable of coming close on a three pointer. Gansey can be that zone-breaker player, and has more athletic ability than he's given credit for.

29. New York - Mouhamed Saer Sene
Yep, he's an overrated center with little experience. Perfect for the Knicks.

30. Portland - Quincy Douby
At the least, Douby can score, and the Blazers need players who can score. He also gives the team another option at SG should Martell Webster continue to need time grooming his game.

If you noticed, I only have two international players on this board, meaning it isn't worth squat compared to what will happen. I predict at least two trades (probably three-four), and a lot of mediocre talent going in the lottery. Good times. Feel free to comment and bash me. I won't mind... much.

posted by Gavin @ 3:34 PM  0 comments

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