1. Milwaukee: Andrew Bogut, C, Utah
This pick wonâ€™t be solidified until draft night. Bogut seems to be the most logical selection but letâ€™s not forget about Williamsâ€™ upside. I maintain that he will be the best player in this class in five years.
Milwaukee is doing their due diligence, bringing in Williams for a workout on Sunday. Bogut does his thing for the Bucks brass on Monday.
2. Atlanta: Marvin Williams, F, North Carolina
The Hawks are hoping that Bogut falls to them at 2, since they really donâ€™t need Williams, after drafting Josh Smith and Josh Childress last year. If they do pick Williams, it will be interesting to see what they do in terms of playing time next season, barring any trades.
Charlotte has inquired about the availability of this selection as they continue to be enamored with Williams. Bernie Bickerstaff told the Charlotte Observer that heâ€™d be interested in sending the fifth and thirteenth picks to Atlanta for this pick, provided that the Hawks throw something else into the deal.
3. Portland: Gerald Green, G/F, Gulf Shores Academy
This pick is clearly on the table right now. Portland wanted Green to come in and work out with fellow high schooler Martell Webster, UNC guard Rashad McCants and Washington guard Nate Robinson. When Green told Portland GM John Nash that he only wanted an individual workout, Nash told him not to bother coming.
We here at Raptorshq.com feel that this is a ploy to lower Greenâ€™s stock, so that the Blazers can trade down and pick up some extra assets.
Again, Charlotte is in the mix here, but Bernie Bickerstaff maintains that he wonâ€™t give up the fifth and thirteenth picks to trade up unless the other team gives something else in return.
Earlier this week, Chris Paul had some impressive workouts and his name has popped up as a possible Blazer selection. However, with Sebastian Telfair the supposed point guard of the future, would the Blazers make this pick? We donâ€™t think so. Nash wants Green and we donâ€™t think he wants to deal with having to trade Paul or Telfair.
4. New Orleans: Chris Paul, PG, Wake Forest
NBAdraft.net reported this week that the Hornets have made a â€œpromiseâ€ to select Deron Williams at 4. Like most of these so-called promises, this one needs to be taken with a grain of salt. It remains unclear why a) the Hornets would tip their hand so early and b) why they would choose Williams over Paul.
Weâ€™re not buying what NBAdraft.net is selling.
Despite having Dan Dickau and Speedy Claxton at the point, the Hornets canâ€™t pass up the opportunity to add a difference-making point guard like Paul.
5. Charlotte: Raymond Felton, PG, North Carolina
Itâ€™s no secret that the Bobcats are trying to trade up to get Marvin Williams. Failing that, the Bobcats need a point guard of the future. Brevin Knight did a great job last season, but heâ€™ll be 30 in November.
Felton has dazzled many scouts with his athleticism in his workouts and seems to have leapfrogged Deron Williams as the #2 point guard in this draft.
The Winston-Salem Journal is reporting that the Bobcats see Felton as their safety net if Paul and Marvin Williams are gone.
6. Utah: Deron Williams, PG, Illinois
Early on, it seemed that Utah would lose out on Deron Williams, having dropped two spots in the lottery. However, with Feltonâ€™s excellent workouts, it appears that the Jazz will luck out and get their point guard of the future.
There are also rumblings that the Jazz are looking at Fran Vasquez and Danny Granger here. However, with Raul Lopez close to signing with a team in Spain the need for a point guard has increased.
WHERE IT LEAVES TORONTO
Will the draft play out this way? Who knows? We think that Felton is a wildcard. He has been mentioned anywhere from Charlotte at 5 to Charlotte at 13. If he fell (maybe if Granger or Vasquez went top 6), the Raptors would be forced to decide between Felton and an impact swingman like Antoine Wright or Granger.
- Jeff Chapman