The Rip City Project Mock Draft Final


The Mock is Final. As always, this is what we think GM’s should do combined with a little of what they will do — as we all know, those two are not often the same in the L. With all the rumors flying around June 28 is sure to be an exciting day…or it could bust and there could be no trades, who knows.


Greg Oden – Ohio St.

Kevin Pritchard has said the NBA has told them not to leak details about who they are going to pick, but from his statements about who they are looking for it’s pretty clear Oden is it. KP’s description of Oden being the “Caretaker” is fairly apt. If you need anymore evidence just check out Oden’s interview on PTI where he lets it slip that he is looking forward to playing with B-Roy and LMA.


Kevin Durant – Texas

Seattle gets their nice cozy little pick and then gets to spend the offseason trying to figure out a way to sign-and-trade Rashard Lewis before he bolts for good.


Al Horford – Florida

There’s no getting away from the Hawks for Horford unless they trade this pick. Hawks seem set on settling their PG situation with the 11th pick, either via trade or with Acie Law. Horford could be a great player but a pick like this seems like Billy Knight is admitting his own idiocy for making promises to Shelden Williams last year.


Al Horford – Florida

Jerry West won’t be drafting for them this year, despite his groaning about the Lottery process. Whoever is making the decisions could be satisfied with Pau Gasol, Hakim Warrick, Stromile Swift and *gulp* Brian Cardinal…on second thought, they’ll stick with the stabilizing force in Horford. The Grizz don’t need another Rudy Gay in Brandon Wright. The only other option here for them would be Brewer, who could replace Shane Battier’s D.


Corey Brewer – Florida

The popular pick here is still Yi Jianlian, but GM Danny Ainge can’t afford a two-year prospect and workout wonder. Brewer offers the highest chance for immediate improvement, and, almost as importantly, can take pressure off the oft-injured Paul Pierce. The Boston fanbase is just too volatile for a project pick right now. Trade is a huge possibility.


Julian Wright – Kansas

Call this one a quasi-insurance policy pick on how the Bobby Simmons investment turns out. A great deal depends on what the Bucks plan on doing with free-agent PG Mo Williams. Wright would make this a very interesting young squad, especially considering one of their greatest weaknesses is athleticism.


Mike Conley Jr. – Ohio St.

Oh, KG, how we feel bad for thee. Conley is a very strong possibility here considering the Wolves just sent Mike James away for Juwan Howard. If the Wolves someday choose to acknowledge they need to embrace the rebuilding process and trade KG, Conley should be a great guy to man the point for a young and developing squad.


Thaddeus Young – Georgia Tech

While there are other solid SF’s out there still, Charlotte is in desperate need of a true impact player, so they swing for the fences with Young. Young seems to be a bit undervalued in this draft. Sure, he could bust, but he could also develop into a dynamic lefty swingman who would be a great centerpiece among the rest of the ‘Cats young talent. Hopefully, Jordan will take the risk.

9.Chicago from New York

Yi Jianlian – China

While Hawes could still be the option here, as well as a trade, if Yi falls into their laps, the Bulls will take him. Chicago is reportedly feeling everyone else out to see whether they will need to move up to draft Yi.


Jeff Green – Georgetown

It seems Artest is as good as gone in Sactown and, depending on what they get in return, Green would fill the hole left behind on both ends of the floor. The Kings get a very solid player here, but what they really need to find is some direction.

11.Atlanta from Indiana

Javaris Crittendon – Georgia Tech

Still a hot spot for trade rumors, but it is pretty clear that if Atlanta goes with Wright at 3 then they will use 11 to get their PG of the future, whether it be Crittendon or getting Jarret Jack from the Blazers.


Al Thornton – Florida St.

Andre Miller will surely be happy with this pick, giving him two weapons to toss alley-oops too in Iguodala and Thornton. Other than Portland and Seattle, for obvious reasons, the ’07 draft is the more important for Philly than for any other team. Their three 1st-rounders could make or break their current rebuilding project.

13.New Orleans/OKC

Joakim Noah – Florida

How far has Noah’s stock fallen? Not quite enough to drop him out of the lottery, but it will be close. Fortunately for him, New Orleans is a great fit. Noah will be able to come off the bench and develop behind Tyson Chandler and David West while reaping the rewards of catching passes from a hopefully healthy Chris Paul. Definite Best Player Avaliable factor here. Nick Young also a possibility.

14.L.A. Clippers

Acie Law – Texas A&M

This isn’t going to be a very popular pick, but the Clippers need some insurance at PG with both Sam Cassel and Shaun Livingston questionable. Not an exciting pick for the fans, but more than necessary.

15.Detroit from Orlando

Rodney Stuckey – Eastern Washington

We hate to jump on the bandwagon, but Stuckey, considered a strong sleeper, is a great fit for Detroit. We considered Nick Young here but Stuckey’s combination of strength and athleticism matches Joe Dumar’s philosophy too closely.


Jason Smith – Colorado State

The Wizards need a man who can get down low, and the 7-foot Smith has both the athletic gifts and offensive talents to keep up with the rest of the Wizards scoring crew. Smith should vault ahead of Etan Thomas and compliment the shot-blocking Brendan Haywood.

17.New Jersey

Spencer Hawes – Washington

While the immediate impact of Sean Williams’ (BC) shot-blocking was the early pick, New Jersey can’t pass up on a low-post talent like Hawes. People might say, ‘but they already have Nenad Kristic,’ but I say to those people, ‘do you realize you just made an arguement for Nenad Kristic?’ As is the case with many teams, free-agent decisions play a key role here — in NJ, its Vince Carter.

18.Golden State

Nick Young – USC

Nick Young falls right into the Warrior’s laps, who lick their lips, put their card in and call it a day. Young fits perfectly into their Nellieball offense and could help fill in for the potential loss of Matt Barnes to free agency.

19.L.A. Lakers

Derrick Byars – Vanderbilt

Trade, trade, trade away, so Kobe won’t be wasted another day. Seriously, while Byars has the kind of outside stroke that could made an immediate impact in the triangle offense, we have strong doubts the Kobe will support another incoming rookie, especially when he knows Jermaine O’neal could have been had.


Gabe Pruitt – USC

Not very much science here, Pruitt is simply a nice athletic complement to Wade in the backcourt who could take a decent amount of pressure off Wade’s oft-injured shoulders.

21.Philadelphia from Denver

Josh McRoberts – Duke

According to Greg Oden, McRoberts’ mom makes some bomb teriyaki chicken, but she won’t need to give any of that to Billy King to get her boy drafted. King loves Duke kids and might look for another distributor to pair with Miller who can dish to Iguodala, Thornton and Dalembert.

Probably trade here

22.Charlotte from Toronto

Tiago Splitter – Brazil

They need to trade the bleep out of this pick, but if they hold on to it, we say they grab Splitter, who may not be able to play until ’09. Even if he never wears a Bobcats uni, Splitter could be valuable as a trade chip next summer if he shows improvement overseas. Basically, the ‘Cats don’t need to get any younger. They have pieces, it’s time to start putting them together

23.New York from Chicago

Morris Almond – Rice

Zeke wants another guard who can shoot the rock, Zeke gets another guard who can shoot the rock. Almond can certainly stroke it, but will it matter to this team in limbo?

24.Phoenix from Cleveland

Marco Belinelli – Italy

This should be a sure thing judging from D’antoni’s history in the Italian league. Phoenix is Belinelli’s best chance to be successful, probably off the bench. The Suns could opt to stash Belinelli away for a year while they sort their roster out.


Daequan Cook – Ohio St.

The Jazz don’t need another post nor another point. One thing they could use a little more of is another legitimate deep threat, which Cook is plenty of. Judging from coach Jerry Sloan’s past, don’t expect any rookie to play very much next season – Deron Williams was an exception. One thing to note: Cook is slipping a little after a poor pre-draft camp in Orlando.


Sean Williams – Boston College

With Juwan Howard gone, Houston will probably look for another big guy either through the draft or otherwise. Williams’ D gives the Rockets a very imposing frontcourt for guards to finish on.


Alando Tucker – Wisconsin

The Pistons probably won’t go big here because of Dumar’s ability to scoop up veteran bigs from other squads and make them valuable. Tucker may be a bit of a reach here, but experience and leadership ability is a valued commodity in Motown and Dumars might take the chance to draft a veteran.

28.San Antonio

Rudy Fernandez – Spain

The Spurs’ last american pick was John Salmons in ’02. That says enough right there. The Spurs should take another international player, and which one it will be is anyone’s guess, but Fernandez is an experienced shooter who just needs to add muscle. There are also a number of big-man prospects projected in the second round that SA could stash away.


Demetris Nichols – Syracuse

It is still unclear how Pheonix is going to go about clearing up their economic situation, but in the meantime, Nichols is a great shooter who fits right into the Suns’ offense. Lacks dynamic offense, but so do other Suns’ guys. Nash makes up for plenty of weaknesses.

30.Philadelphia from Dallas

Glen Davis – LSU

Philly goes big again with Big Baby Davis. If the Sixers can get Davis to stay in shape and continue working on his skills around the basket, they will have a valuable asset for the future, and at the very least a rebounder for the present.