Everybody loves the NBA Draft. In fact, I plan on attending Thursday night (which may or may not be a good idea).
Even more than the draft itself, it seems that everyone loves creating mock drafts.
If I followed the NBA more closely, I would do the same. But since I really don't know enough about the needs of each team, I decided I'd just steal other people's opinions, basically.
I took 11 other mock drafts, and tried to come to some kind of consensus.
The 11 mocks: Chris Ekstrand (CNNSI), Chad Ford (ESPN), Jeff Goodman and Peter Schrager (FOXSports), NBADraft.net, Draft Express, The Big Lead, Jeff Reyonlds, Tony Mejia and Gary Parrish of CBS Sportline, and Shawn Sigel of CollegeHoops.net.
I have included a couple facts for each player. One is their ranking (among college players) in John Hollinger's ratings. Also, for the top picks, I have included their chance of being drafted in that position according to the lines at sportsbetting.com and betus.com.
1. Portland- Greg Oden, C, Ohio State
Hollinger rank: 2nd
Well, the "Who's #1" debate is over.
2. Seattle- Kevin Durant, SF, Texas
Hollinger rank: 1st (by a lot)
I will defer to the experts on this topic.
The first half against Kansas remains the best half of basketball I've ever watched.
3. Atlanta- Al Horford, PF, Florida
Hollinger rank: 6th
SportsBetting %: 59%
BetUS %: 57%
It's either here or Memphis.
I have very little to add, except I probably saw Horford play 20 times before I realized he was Dominican. Then it immediately seemed really obvious.
4. Memphis- Mike Conley Jr., PG, Ohio State
Hollinger rank: 3rd
Sportsbetting %: 31%
BetUS %: 32%
He won't fall out of the top six, but only 2 of the 11 mocks have him going here. Atlanta and Milwaukee are the two other likely landing spots.
Conley apparently has a 40.5" vertical. I would have never guessed that.
5. Boston- Corey Brewer, SF, Florida
Hollinger rank: 24th
SportsBetting %: 21%
BetUS %: 20% (they actually have Yi higher for this pick, at 27%)
Everybody has him going to either Boston, Minnesota, or Charlotte.
Overshadowed by Noah for so long, but he really came into his own this year. Each time I saw him play I wondered why he wasn't being talked about as a top pick. I guess I should stop wondering.
6. Milwaukee- Brandan Wright, PF, North Carolina
Hollinger rank: 5th
SportsBetting %: 13%
BetUS %: 24%
Three of the mocks have him going here, but he's also as high as three and as low as 10.
When I saw Wright play in person (at the Garden against Gonzaga...they lost) I was stunned by how long his arms are. With shoes, Brandan Wright is 6'10". He has a wingspan of 7'3.75". Just half an inch less than Yi and Oden.
(Side note: I didn't realize this until now, but Durant's wingspan is 7'4.75", longest of anyone in the draft.)
7. Minnesota- Spencer Hawes, C, Washington
Hollinger rank: 30th
BetUS %: 22%
This is the highest I've seen Hawes going. Five of 11 mocks have him taken here, while some have him sliding to Philly at 12.
8. Charlotte- Joakim Noah, PF, Florida
Hollinger rank: 11th
BetUS %: 29%
Two have him going eighth, but two also have him going both fourth and 10th, respectively.
Personally I'm hoping he goes 10th so we can hear the Leinart comparisons all night. That'd be fantastic.
9. Chicago- Yi Jianlian, C, China
BetUS %: 23%
Most have him going here or 10th, although one guy has the Celtics trading up two spots to get him at three. I'm pretty sure he's being serious.
(Note: That draft may be updated, but as of 1:57PM on Wednesday, that's what is said. I swear.)
10. Sacramento- Jeff Green, SF, Georgetown
Hollinger rank: 14th
Two have Green going 5th, while one has him as low as 12th. Two slot him in here.
11. Atlanta- Acie Law, PG, Texas A&M
Hollinger rank: 27th
The 11 mocks I looked at are split on Law; four have him here, four have him 14th. This Schrager guy has him falling to 26th. Whatever. He can't even spell Crittenton in his explanation.
12. Philadelphia- Al Thornton, SF/PF, Florida State
Hollinger rank: 25th
Six mocks have him going here, with three more having him at 13.
13. New Orleans- Nick Young, SG, USC
Hollinger rank: Not in top 30
This (five mocks) or 15th (3) to Detroit seems to be the consensus.
7' wingspan, 40.5" vertical. Some are very high on him.
14. LA Clippers- Javaris Crittenton, PG, Georgia Tech
Hollinger rank: 17th
Five have him going here, although there are two each who have him going 19th and 20th, respectively.
I went to three Tech games this year, so I can at least pretend to be an expect on Crittenton. He's flashy, but more importantly he can get to the rim and finish inside. I think he'll be a better pro than Law.
15. Detroit- Rodney Stuckey, SG, Eastern Washington
Hollinger rank: 9th
Six have him going here, with other predictions scattered. Lowest is 20. But Chad Ford has convinced me.
16. Washington- Julian Wright, PF, Kansas
Hollinger rank: 19th
Wright seems to be sliding- both Draft Express and NBADraft.net dropped him down to this slot in their updated Wednesday mocks.
Wright is 6'8, 211 lbs., but can only bench 185 lbs. twice. I know it doesn't really matter, but could one person have mentioned that, instead of hearing about this a thousand times?
17. New Jersey- Josh McRoberts, PF, Duke
Hollinger rank: 8th
This is as good as it's gonna get for McRoberts. Four have him going here, while the rest are scattered between 19 and 30 (!).
18. Golden State- Jason Smith, C, Colorado St.
Hollinger rank: 22nd
Nine of 11 mocks have Smith going in the 16-18 range.
19. LA Lakers- Rudy Fernandez, SG, Spain
This is best case for Fernandez- four mocks have him going here, one has him going as low as 28th.
I think the best part about the one year in college rule is it made the draft more interesting. Fernandez, the 19th pick, is just the second guy taken who didn't go to college in the US. Before the new rule it seemed like half the draft was high school/foreign guys whom nobody really new anything about. It's a lot more fun this way.
20. Miami- Thaddeus Young, SF, Georgia Tech
Hollinger rank: 4th
This would obviously be a disappointment for Young, who multiple mocks have going 13th, 16th, 18th, and 20th.
Young will be a good test of Hollinger's ranking. He's obviously athletic, but he completely disappeared at times last year.
21. Philadelphia- Sean Williams, C, Boston College (kind of)
Hollinger rank: 13th
Everybody has Williams in the second half of the first round, but nobody really agrees on where.
If you Google "Sean Williams Boston College Pot" you get 428,000 results.
22. Charlotte- Tiago Splitter, PF, Brazil
Did I mention it's great that there are less foreign guys that we know nothing about?
23. New York- Wilson Chandler, SF, DePaul
Hollinger rank: 18th
Googling "fire Isiah Thomas" only got me 190,000 results. I wish Balkman had sucked.
24. Phoenix- Marco Belinelli, SG, Italy
Five of 11 mocks have Belinelli going here, which is a ton for the 24th pick.
25. Utah- Derrick Byars, SF, Vanderbilt
Three have him here, three have him 20th, one as high as 18th, one as low as 27th.
26. Houston- Nick Fazekas, PF, Nevada
Hollinger rank- 7th
Three mocks have him going here. Seven have him falling out of the first round.
27. Detroit- Morris Almond, SG, Rice
Hollinger rank- Not in top 30
Of the 11 mocks I looked at, there are 10 different players selected by Detroit here. I'm just going with Chad Ford, to be honest.
28. San Antonio- Jared Dudley, SF, Boston College
Hollinger rank: 10th
Going here in four mocks.
29. Phoenix- Petteri Koponen, PG, Finland
In three of 11 mocks.
30. Philadelphia- Glen Davis, PF, LSU
Hollinger rank: 25
And we're done. Check back tomorrow as I take a look at which mocks were the most accurate.
UPDATE (5:01PM ET): Check out my latest post for an updated top 10, and an analysis of the up to the minute betting lines.