Monday, June 06, 2005

Mock Draft I

Andrew Bogut is expected to be the 1st overall pick of the 2005 NBA Draft.

Over the course of the next three weeks, we're going to bring you a mock draft each week leading up to the June 28th NBA Draft. And rather than banging heads and fighting one another, Ant and I are going to list our respective predictions for each pick. Trades will not be factored into the mock draft, but we will try and mention them when appropriate.

1. Milwaukee

Anthony - C Andrew Bogut, Utah

-The Bucks haven't had a decent center since the days of Jack Sikma and I don't see Dan Gadzuric or Zaza Pachulia becoming All-Stars anytime soon. Bogut, along with the return of TJ Ford, could put the Bucks back into the Playoff hunt.

Paul - C Andrew Bogut, Utah

-Bogut appears to be who the Bucks are leaning towards right now, but there is still some speculation that Marvin Williams is being considered. I'm really not all that sold on either guy, so if I'm the Bucks I'd be taking offers to see what's out there in the trade market.

2. Atlanta

Anthony-PG Chris Paul, Georgia Tech

-I'm not quite sold on Marvin Williams to the ATL, and like Paul discusses below, I think the Hawks would be much better suited with a PG considering the abundance of legitimate 3's they already own. Paul is regarded as a future star in the league, yet that was questioned after his testicle punch on Julius Hodge. He punched a guy in the balls, he didn't lose the ring finger on his shooting hand, C'MON!

Paul - PG Chris Paul, Georgia Tech

-I really can't figure out why "experts" have them taking Marvin Williams when they already have Josh Childress, Josh Smith, and Al Harrington (though he has only 1 year left on his contract). Paul is the best point guard prospect, but don't be surprised to see them trade down to either Charlotte or Utah in hopes of either gaining another pick or young prospect, and still landing the point man they like the most-- Deron Williams.

3. Portland

Anthony - SF Marvin Williams, North Carolina

Nothing like a sure thing falling into your lap at 3. In getting a potential #1 pick like Williams, the Blazers will finally have the centerpiece to their future and a guy with no felony charges--yet.

Paul - SF Marvin Williams, North Carolina

-Most people think it's essentially a lock that the Blazers grab Gerald Green here, but that's assuming Marvin Williams is off the board. If no deal is made and Portland picks here with Williams still available, there is no way they pass him up.

4. New Orleans

Anthony - PG Deron Williams, Illinois

-It will be tough for the Hornets to pass up on a stud like Gerald Green-- if he's available. But they won't dare to impede the growth of JR Smith after his promising rookie season. With Dan Dickau and Speedy Claxton on the roster, it would be more beneficial for the Hornets to trade this pick and try and grab a 3 or 4 later in the round.

Paul - PG Deron Williams, Illinois

-The Hornets would love for Marvin Williams to slip to them here, but it's not going to happen. If someone does trade up for him and the Blazers jump on Green, look for the Hornets to grab the best point guard out there and in this current scenario that would mean Deron Williams.

Gerald Green enters this year's draft as the most heralded high school prospect.

5. Charlotte

Anthony - SG Gerald Green, High School

-I think that somehow, some way the Bobcats have to get Green. Their future frontcourt appears set with Okafor and Brezec, and getting a guy with the potential of Green is much more important than replacing Brevin Knight at the point. Look for a trade up to 3 or 4.

Paul - SG Gerald Green, High School

-If the Bobcats don't move up, they should be content with picking up Green, who's drawing his fair share of Tracy McGrady comparisons. Of course everything will change if there's a trade and Marvin Williams goes #2, meaning the Bobcats may land Deron Williams.

6. Utah

Anthony - SG Antoine Wright, Texas A&M

-Wright is considered by many as the top college 2-guard in the draft. Last season, the junior averaged 17.8 PPG and 6.0 RPG for the Aggies and with no legit scorer on their team, the Jazz should go with the best available in Wright. (Note: read Paul's comments on Utah getting a PG--I completely agree).

Paul - PG Raymond Felton, North Carolina

-Let me make this clear-- Utah will not draft Raymond Felton. Given how enamored they are with Deron Williams and Chris Paul, the Jazz will do whatever it is in their power to secure landing one of the two. However, since we're not factoring in how the trades may work out, the Jazz would end up with Felton if the draft were to go as such.

7. Toronto

Anthony - C-Channing Frye, Arizona

-With the Raptors seemingly cool with their first four starters, the feeling here is that Rob Babcock will try and redeem his Rafael Araujo pick from a year ago and get a legit 5 to play alongside Chris Bosh. If Wright is still on the board, expect Toronto to go with him to eventually take over for an aging Jalen Rose.

Paul - SG Antoine Wright, Texas A&M

-Rob Babcock will be very tempted to grab Fran Vasquez here, but given how things went last season in the draft and considering that his job may already be on the line, Babcock will play it safe and draft Wright, who has secured his place as the 2nd best shooting guard prospect on the board behind Gerald Green.

8. New York

Anthony - PF Fran Vazquez, Spain

-Highly unlikely that the first Euro won't be seen until 8, but like Paul mentions below, I think New York has to go big with this pick. Following in the footsteps of fellow Spaniard Pau Gasol, Vazquez appears to be a relatively safe pick in comparison with fellow bigs like Chris Taft and Charlie Villanueva.

Paul - PF Fran Vazquez, Spain

-New York will cry foul over this pick, but rumors are suggesting that Isiah is intent on going big and Vasquez is the safest big man on the board begind Bogut. At 6'10", the Spaniard should be able to play some center in the East and from what I gathered, is actually the safest pick for Isiah in this spot.

9. Golden State

Anthony - PF/C Chris Taft, Pittsburgh

-If you're a Taft fan, don't dare look to see where Paul has him falling to. Part of me agrees with my partner, but something tells me the talent we all saw in Taft originally still lies in there somewhere. With room to fuck around, Chris Mullin will take the project and see if he can challenge Adonal Foyle for minutes. My guess is yes.

Paul - C Channing Frye, Arizona

-There have been reports that Frye has received a guarantee from the Warriors, but maybe that's just pure speculation because the pick makes so much sense. Chris Mullin would love an athletic big man who can run the floor and step in immediately and play 20-25 minutes for them-- Frye fits the bill.

10. LA Lakers

Anthony - PG Raymond Felton, North Carolina

-I'd be shocked if the Lakers and Phil Jackson (yes I'm jumping the gun) don't nab a point here. With the lack of depth at center in this draft (the Lakers' other real hole), LA will take the most experienced PG they can find, and that's Felton. Hell, the guy did win a National Championship last year.

Paul - G/F Martell Webster, High School

-The Lakers would love to get their hands on a point guard, but with the top 3 floor generals all gone (Felton would be a perfect pick if he's still out there), look for them to grab the best prospect on the board. Caron Butler doesn't appear to be in the team's long-term future, so grabbing a kid like Webster who can be Kobe's protege and eventual sidekick makes sense.

11. Orlando

Anthony - G/F Martell Webster

-I think the Magic have to set their sites on an eventual replacement for Grant Hill and Webster fits the bill. Even if Hill can stay healthy for a few more seasons, he will be a nice mentor for the youngster out of 12th grade.

Paul - SF Danny Granger, New Mexico

-The Magic have had their eyes set on Martell Webster, but with the Lakers grabbing him, the Magic turn to Granger-- the best player left and some insurance in case Grant Hill takes a turn for the worse.

Danny Granger can do a little bit of everything from the small forward position.

12. LA Clippers

Anthony - Rashad McCants, North Carolina

-A lot of people don't feel McCants is going to be anything special in the NBA, but I think if a coach can help him realize his potential and get him to take consistently better shots, 'Shad could be a nice 2 guard in the League. With Simmons apparently packing his bags for Chicago, the former Tar Heel will fit in nicely.

Paul - Rashad McCants, North Carolina

-Elgin Baylor is supposedly in love with McCants and would grab him if he were still available at this slot. The Clips need a guy who can contribute from day 1 and can also use some insurance in case Bobby Simmons bolts.

13. Charlotte

Anthony - SF Danny Granger

Charlotte gets one of the more polished players to challenge Gerald Wallace for minutes at the 3. As an expansion team the 'Cats have to go with experience and Granger could be a star.

Paul - SF Joey Graham, Oklahoma St.

-The Bobcats seem intent on grabbing a point guard and small forward with their lottery picks (that is if they keep both of them)-- Graham is the best '3' out there.

14. Minnesota

Anthony - PF Charlie Villanueva

- There were times last season when Villanueva would dominate. There were also times when he wouldn't even show up. With a mentor like KG guiding him along, the Wolves would be very fortunate if Charlie got his act together.

Paul - PF Ike Diogu, Arizona St.

-Diogu has been shooting up the boards as of late and Minnesota needs a low-post offensive scoring threat more than just about anybody out there.

15. New Jersey

Anthony - F Hakim Warrick, Syracuse

- Still looking for Kenyon Martin's replacement at the 4--the Nets hope to get just that in Warrick.

Paul - F Hakim Warrick, Syracuse

-I could also see the Nets giving Sean May a long hard look, but in the end, Warrick's ability to finish with the best of 'em just makes him impossible to pass up.

It's uncertain how long Warrick will hang around the 1st Round

16. Toronto

Anthony - SG Rudy Fernandez, Spain

- At just 18 years of age, Fernandez was getting touches on the Spanish National team this season. With that kind of potential, it's hard to see Rudy slipping past this spot, especially with Rose's contract done after next season.

Paul - PF Sean May, North Carolina

- Look for Rob Babcock to play it safe once again, this time turning away the likes of high school product Andray Blatche and Frenchman Johan Petro in favor of the experienced May, who fits along nicely next to the lanky Chris Bosh.

17. Indiana

Anthony - SF Joey Graham, Oklahoma State

- I watched Graham a few times last season and he seemed to be a role player forced into a scoring role. Coming into the NBA and probably as a 9 or 10 on most rosters, that burden will be removed and he should become a nice piece for a contending Pacer team in '05-06.

Paul - SG Marko Tomas, Croatia

-The Pacers' roster is already stacked pretty full even with the retirement of Reggie Miller, so it's conceivable that they draft someone that they can leave overseas for a year or two. Tomas, an all-around solid 2-guard prospect, gives them that luxury.

18. Boston

Anthony - SF Ryan Gomes, Providence

- Danny Ainge fell in love with Gomes last season before he pulled out of the draft, so expect him to take the former Friar here at 18. There's also been rumors of Boston trading Paul Pierce and 18 to Portland for the #3. Don't believe it.

Paul - PF Andray Blatche, High School

-Yes, the Celtics already have Al Jefferson, but Blatche is a few inches taller and can learn the ways of the NBA alongside Baby Al and help to form an imposing frontline in the foreseeable future for the Celts.

19. Memphis

Anthony - PF Ike Diogu, Arizona St.

I think Jerry West will opt for the best player available and that's probably Diogu at this point. The former Sun Devil was originally thought to be too small to play the 4, but after he measured in at 6'8" without shoes at the Chicago camp, Ike has been climbing the ladder.

Paul - C Johan Petro, France

-With Stromile Swift leaving, Petro gives the deep Grizzlies an option of filling that hole for them or staying overseas for a year or two.

Tony Parker's boy Johan Petro is raw, but loaded with potential.

20. Denver

Anthony - SG Julius Hodge, N.C. State

- I like the stretch pick here, too. While I love Paul's selection of Garcia below, I think Hodge would be an even better selection. Nuggets need a combo guard who can handle the ball and also shoot-- Hodge is their man.

Paul - SG Francisco Garcia, Louisville

-Maybe a bit of a stretch this early, but he's far and away the best shooter left on the board and already has experience playing in an up-tempo offense at Louisville. I love this pick for the Nuggets.

21. Phoenix

Anthony - C Johan Petro, France

- The Suns need an alternative to Steven Hunter, who shit the bed more than Paul as a 10-year-old. I could also see them going for the best available player here in an attempt to add depth.

Paul - PF Wayne Simien, Kansas

-The Suns would love to see Arizona St. product Ike Diogu fall to them here, but they'll be happy with Simien. Though he won't ever become a starter for them, he can give them a solid scoring punch off the bench and also do some much-needed glass work.

22. Denver

Anthony - SG CJ Miles, High School

- Why not draft a couple of 2 guards if you're Denver? They're pretty much set everywhere else.

Paul - PG Monta Ellis, High School

-If Ellis were to slip all the way here, there's just no way the Nuggets could turn him down. Though they could use some more depth at the 2 and 3, Ellis has too much up-side for them to let him pass by.

23. Sacramento

Anthony - SF Ersan Ilyasova, Turkey

- Almost a clone to Peja, the Kings elect to draft their star shooter's eventual successor. With loads of potential and a deadly perimeter game, the Kings can let him develop in Europe for a couple years before bringing him over to be tuteledged by Stojakovic.

Paul - F Charlie Villanueva, UConn

-Villanueva is a nice fit for the Kings, especially considering he won't ever be asked to play much defense.

24. Houston

Anthony - PF Wayne Simien, Kansas

- Houston arguably got knocked from the first round due to their lack of depth at the 4. With Juwan Howard hurt, Ryan Bowen was their best option. That will all change with Simien, who was regarded as one of the best players in the country at the beginning of the '04-05 season. I have a feeling a lot of teams will end up regretting passing on the former Jayhawk.

Paul - PF Chris Taft, Pittsburgh

-And finally the Chris Taft freefall is complete. Houston would be an ideal place for Taft to end up-- Van Gundy would give him the discipline he needs and a strong head like Juwan Howard might help to bestow the right attitude on him.

25. Seattle

Anthony - C Randolph Morris, Kentucky

- Morris didn't quite live up to his lofty expectations as a freshman with Kentucky, but scouts are still fascinated by his poential. With Jerome James testing free agent waters and Robert Swift yet again rumored to be on his way to Boston, Morris will fit in nicely.

Paul - C Randolph Morris, Kentucky

-The Sonics would like to get their hands on a more experienced big man, but it will be difficult for them to pass on Morris-- a 7-footer who can run the floor, block shots, and has the athleticism needed to develop into a formidable post threat.

26. Detroit

Anthony - C Johan Petro, France

- Detroit needs a decent center to back up Ben Wallace, as Elden Campbell will probably be in a convalescent home at this time next year. Look for the Pistons to draft the Euro stud and leave him overseas for a year.

Paul - SF Ryan Gomes, Providence

-If Larry Brown sticks around, the Pistons will grab a seasoned veteran like Gomes after last season's (unwarranted) Carlos Delfino debacle. If Brown goes, Dumars may dip his hands into another Euro prospect-- one that he could leave overseas (like they need another Darko or Delfino clogging up the bench).

Ryan Gomes has improved his stock with a number of outstanding workouts.

27. Utah

Anthony - PG Monta Ellis, High School

- Many experts have the Jazz taking a point guard with their initial pick of the round, but chances are both Paul and Williams will be gone by then. If Utah does indeed have to wait until 27, the best available will most likely be Ellis. While not a pure point guard, Monta was known to fill the hoop in high school and the Jazz will take any scoring they can get.

Paul - SG Rudy Fernandez, Spain

-Jerry Sloan always loves to stockpile shooters, and Kevin O'Connor wouldn't mind grabbing one that could give a rebuilding team some more youth.

28. San Antonio

Anthony - PF Ronny Turiaf, Gonzaga

- When you're as good as San Antone, it's all about drafting depth. With a player of Turiaf's caliber still available at 28, the Spurs will have no problem rolling the dice.

Paul - SF Ersan Ilyasova, Turkey

-Look for the Spurs to give a guarantee to either Ilyasova or Russian Yaroslav Korolev and leave whoever they take in Europe for at least two years.

29. Miami

Anthony - SG Francisco Garcia, Louisville

- With Eddie Jones appraoching his 52nd birthday, it seems necessary for the Heat to go after his successor. As one of the best slashing scorers in the college game, Garcia could grow into an excellent compliment to Dwyane Wade.

Paul - PG Jarrett Jack, Georgia Tech

-It's doubtful that Jack falls this far with all of the trading that is bound to happen, but if he does indeed slip, the Heat will pounce all over the Ga Tech product.

30. New York

Anthony - C Andrew Bynum, High School

- As a UConn fan, I'd hate to see this, but the Knicks need big guys. I can see them packaging their two picks to move up or create some cap space.

Paul - SG C.J. Miles, High School

-Here's my prediction with the Knicks-- Isiah grabs at least one big and one high school player-- if he takes a Vasquez 8th, then look for him to snag the best high school product available at #30. He may also try and keep Andrew Bynum in the draft here by offering him a guarantee.

Close, but...

Anthony - Kennedy Winston, Nate Robinson, Brandon Bass, Tiago Splitter (pulls out, haha), Martyans Andriuskevicius...

Paul - Martyans Andriuskevicius (pulls out), Tiago Splitter (pulls out), Nemanja Aleksandrov (pulls out), Yaroslav Korolev (pulls out), Andrew Bynum (pulls out), Julius Hodge, Kennedy Winston, Ronny Turiaf, David Lee...

Note: Paul made his picks first which made this 100 times easier for me. What a great friend...


At 5:51 PM, Blogger Shepard said...

Villanueva goes high, trust me on this one..

As a Lakers fan, I would like to see Frye or Felton, but perhaps Villanueva will get the purple uniform. That's not bad, because he can contribute as well as Odom.. then Odom can be traded for PG/C pack and we'll win the trophy again. :D

Damn, I see Taft as a top 5 pick guyz.. I also think Jack is going upper than you said.. and god damn, the Bobcats ain't drafting a kid. They need a ready and steady P L A Y E R, not prospect.

Sean May is going in the top 10, and Hakim Warrick too. I also don't mind either of them in Laker uniform.

Frye | Felton | Villanueva | May | Warrick <--------- one of them is going Hollywood :)

At 9:03 AM, Blogger Anthony Peretore said...

Hey man, thanks for writing in. Just to let you know, I live in Connecticut and caught every UConn game this season. If you expect Charlie Villanueva to be better than Lamar Odom at any point in his career, I think you're really overshooting his potential. The guy has absolutely no drive/no desire to take over a game. Those players usually do not fare well in the NBA.

As far as Taft being a top 5 pick, I really don't see how. There's no way he goes ahead of Bogut, M. Williams, Paul, Green, or D. Williams, it would be far too risky. Those are pretty much sure thing guys, Taft is not. He's another guy that just hasn't captured his talent, and may never will.

Sean May arguably should be a top 10 guy after his performance in the Tournament. If I was selecting at 9 or 10, I definately would not be disappointed coming away with him. I think the same goes for Warrick, who has tremendous upside and could be an excellent pro. Remember man, we're just selecting where we think these guys will fall, not where we think they SHOULD fall. Good luck with the Lakers, they're going to need it.


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