In the spirit of the many mock drafts that are currently populating the Internet, the Raptorshq.com team sat down, considered the needs of each team and came up with their own mock draft. With the emphasis on â€œmockâ€â€¦
While no one knows for sure how the draft will go, mock drafts are a great exercise to visualize how the draft might play out and, most importantly, who might be available when the Raptors make their two first round selections.
1. Milwaukee: Andrew Bogut, C, Utah
This seems to be the consensus pick. While some believe that Marvin Williams might be the pick here, Bogut seems to be the best selection for the Bucks. If T.J. Ford is healthy, and they can re-sign Michael Redd, this team shapes up as a decent one. Their biggest need is up front, especially considering that their two centers, Dan Gadzuric and Zaza Pachulia, are free agents. The selection of Bogut addresses this need.
2. Atlanta: Chris Paul, PG, Wake Forest
Speculation surrounds the Hawks selecting a Williams here, either Marvin or Deron. A trade is also possible here. However, failing that, the Hawks need a point guard and Paul seems to be the best fit for them.
3. Portland: Marvin Williams, SF, North Carolina
Portland is the wild card team in this draft. If the draft plays out like this, Charlotte will be in hot pursuit of this pick so that they can draft Deron Williams. Since Portland drafted Sebastian Telfair last year, there is not a need for them to take Deron Williams. Rumours persist that Portland is hot after Gerald Green but #3 might be too high. It is felt that Portland will go for the best available player at this point and that is Marvin Williams.
4. New Orleans: Deron Williams, PG, Illinois
There was plenty of discussion about this pick. Some thought that Deron Williams was a slam dunk, while others felt that the Hornets were happy with Dan Dickau at the point and would look to fill another need. Gerald Green would make an excellent running mate for J.R. Smith, but the Hornets would be crazy to not draft Deron Williams at this point.
5. Charlotte: Gerald Green, SG, Gulf Shores Academy (TX)
The consensus here is that Charlotte lost out big-time in the draft lottery. They sat at three prior to the lottery and were fairly certain to get one of the two top point guards in Paul or Deron Williams. Yet, they slipped to five and it appears that the top two points will be gone at this point. They have shown some interest in Green and he and Emeka Okafor would make quite the foundation for this franchise.
Franchiseâ€™s Random Thought: â€œI still feel that Atlanta takes (Marvin) Williams and that Portland deals Paul to Charlotte and gets rid of some of its contractual problems and then takes Green with the 5th pickâ€
6. Utah: Fran Vasquez, PF, Spain
Utah needs pretty much everything. Point guard may be their biggest need, but Raymond Felton is a reach at 6 unless he works out like Nate â€œTinyâ€ Archibald. Should they pick Vasquez, it gives them the ability to throw out an all-United Nations front court with Andrei Kirilenko and Mehmet Okur.
Chapmanâ€™s Random Thought: â€œIf the Jazz sign Antonio Daniels, that gives them two Bowling Green guards (along with Keith McLeod). Iâ€™m pretty sure that not even Bowling Green has ever had two Bowling Green guards on their roster.â€
7. Toronto: Danny Granger, SF, New Mexico
The discussion on this pick came down to two players: Granger and Raymond Felton. It was agreed that, unless Felton wowed the team in workouts, that Granger was the pick here. He fills a need at SF and projects, at the high end, to be a Shawn Marion type player. Some are worried that he might be another Morris Peterson, in that he does everything well, but nothing exceptionally. Toronto fans should be excited to get Granger here.
Chapmanâ€™s Random Thought: Upon learning that Martynas Andriuskevicius will probably pull out of the draft: â€œWickedâ€¦ now we can forget how to pronounce his name and focus on Roko Leni Ukic.â€
Howlandâ€™s Random Thought: â€œEric Williams has to be moved, even if itâ€™s for a Michelle Carter autograph.â€
8. New York: Charlie Villanueva, PF, Connecticut
The Knicks need to go big, seeing as how Kurt Thomas (at a generous 6-9) is their tallest player. Come on Isiah, bring back Slavko Vranes!
Seeing this need, talk focused on Villanueva, Chris Taft and Channing Frye. All three seem like reaches at this point, but Villanueva is reportedly wowing teams in his workouts, while Taftâ€™s recent workout for the Knicks had Isiah shaking his head in disbelief.
The thought here is that the Knicks take the Alien and hope that they can inject some defensive intensity into him.
Chapmanâ€™s Random Thought: â€œWhy do I have a feeling that Isiah will take Felton here and trade Marbury to the Bucks for Bogut, Gadzuric, Pachulia, Daniel Santiago and the rights to Larry Krystowiak?â€
9. Golden State: Channing Frye, C, Arizona
Rumours persist that the Warriors have offered a â€œpromiseâ€ to Frye. It wouldnâ€™t be a bad selection as the Warriors need help at the pivot spot and Frye is the second-best centre behind Bogut. With rumours that Mike Dunleavy, Jr. might be traded, focus on this pick also centered on Antoine Wright and Martell Webster. Also discussed was Felton, as insurance to Baron Davisâ€™ wonky back. In the end, it was decided that the Warriors would fill their biggest need with this pick.
10. Los Angeles Lakers: Raymond Felton, PG, North Carolina
This was almost a consensus pick. However, one contributor maintained that the Lakers would take Taft here. The feeling was that, if Phil Jackson came back to coach, the Lakers would not take a small point guard like Felton. However, in the end, Felton was the pick. He would fill a major need for the Lakers with Chucky Atkins basically talking his way out of town.
Howlandâ€™s Random Thought: â€œWith Jackson coaching, Felton finds his way to the end of the bench quicker than Qyntel Woods finds himself a dog fight.â€
11. Orlando: Tiago Splitter, PF, Brazil
At first, the discussion centred around Antoine Wright and Martell Webster, with the consensus being Wright. However, there was a Nate Dogg moment, where the entire team screamed â€œHold Up!â€. The Magic need help up front in a big way. So, destroying the Raptors hopes of an all-Brazilian front line (yes, Oscar Schmidt IS still available, even though he is 48), we peg the Magic to snag Tiago Splitter. In time, he would team with Dwight Howard to give Orlando a solid front court. Yes, we are aware that Chris Taft is still falling.
Random Discussion about Doug Christie:
Howland: â€œBy the way, trading for Doug Christie was easily the worst trade of the year.â€
Chapman: â€œANY trade that involves you getting Doug Christie is automatically the worst trade of the year. For instance, if Orlando offered me Christie for these three jujubes and my â€˜Check Your Headâ€™ CD, I would have been guilty of pulling off the worst trade of the year.â€
Franchise: â€œMaybe it would be fair if you offered up a lesser Beastie Boys CDâ€¦or maybe offered some Mike and Ikesâ€¦by the way, what are those?â€
Chapman: â€œNahâ€¦canâ€™t be Mike and Ikesâ€¦the candy has to be softâ€¦much like Christie.â€
12. Los Angeles Clippers: Antoine Wright, SG, Texas A&M
Oh, how close we were to having the Clippers pick Chris Taft. Then we realized they already had their own version: Chris Wilcox. In the end, Antoine seemed to be the Wright selection for the Clips. Heâ€™s a great athlete who has worked hard on his shooting. Kind of reminds you of Corey Maggette. Whatâ€™s that you say? The Clips already have Maggette? Well, letâ€™s not forget that Elgin Baylor is still in charge.
13. Charlotte: Joey Graham, SF, Oklahoma State
Bernie Bickerstaff has a plan to build the Charlotte franchise and Graham seems like the logical fit here. We considered Martell Webster here but it wouldnâ€™t make sense for the Bobcats to select two high schoolers. Unless, of course, he secretly hired Jerry Krause as a consultant. Graham is an athletic player whose skill set is rapidly improving and, as a senior from a winning program, is a good fit for Bickerstaffâ€™s blueprint.
14. Minnesota: Chris Taft, PF, Pittsburgh
Trivia Time: Who was Minnesotaâ€™s last first round pick? Although it seems that the logical answer is George Mikan, the correct answer is Ndudi Ebi in 2003.
This pick was a tough one. Minnesotaâ€™s needs are plentiful. With this in mind, we debated such options as Jarrett Jack, Wayne Simien, Hakim Warrick and Rashad McCants. In the end, we figured that Minnesota would be thrilled to have a chance to draft Taft at 14. Sure, the kidâ€™s got some work ethic issues, but heâ€™s got skills (or is it skillz?) and would have a great mentor in KG.
15. New Jersey: Sean May, PF, North Carolina
Some thought was given to sticking the Nets with Shavlik Randolph just to spite Vince Carter. However, clearer heads did prevail and the discussion centered around May and Hakim Warrick. While both would be good fits, the consensus was that May was the better fit for the lineup. He has good hands, runs the floor fairly well and provides rebounding for the shot-happy Nets backcourt.
Random discussion about Hakim Warrick:
Howland: â€œWarrick is best cut out for playing the role of the beanstalk in Jack and the Beanstalkâ€
Chapman: â€œWho plays Jack? Jarrett Jack? Jack Armstrong? Brian Scalabrine?â€
16. Toronto: Jarrett Jack, PG, Georgia Tech
There were many different ways that we could have gone for this pick. We thought about Martell Webster and Hakim Warrick. Even though Webster has the most upside of anyone left at this point, the Raptors need a point guard for the future. Jack is a hard-nosed floor general whose shot is improving. Give him a few years and heâ€™s running the offense fluidly.
17. Indiana: Martell Webster, SG, Seattle Prep (WA)
This pick makes sense as Webster is one of the best pure shooters in the draft and the Pacers are losing one of the best pure shooters in NBA history in Reggie Miller. Webster is a few years away from truly contributing, but he represents excellent value at this point.
18. Boston: Hakim Warrick, PF, Syracuse
Wow. Talk about an athletic possible lineup the Celtics could field. Pierce, Jefferson, Allen, Warrick and Ricky Davis. Sure, they wonâ€™t stop anyone, but the team would be a walking â€œHON candidateâ€.
19. Memphis: Nemanja Aleksandrov, SF, Serbia
Now we enter the Chad Ford Zone. Ford is probably the only person in the world who has ever seen Aleksandrov play. Memphis could be in the market for a developmental player that they can stash overseas for a few years and Aleksandrov is that kind of player. Then again, it might be Marko Tomas. Or Ersan Ilyasova. Or Ivan Chiriaev.
Random Discussion about Johan Petro:
Howland: â€œIf the Raps take him, Iâ€™m giving up on them. Heâ€™s Jerome Moiso Part 2â€
Chapman: â€œThink of the marketing possibilities. Petro Canada. That would be the best nickname ever.â€
20. Denver: Rudy Fernandez, SG, Spain
Because Chad Ford says so.
21. Phoenix, Andray Blatche, PF, South Kent Prep (CT)
Phoenix will probably go big at this spot and the best guess is that they will select Blatche here and groom him to play alongside Amare Stoudemire in the future.
Howlandâ€™s Random Thought: â€œI thought that (300-pound) Andrew Bynum was the pick here. Then I realized it would take him about eight years on a treadmill to keep up with the Suns.â€
22. Denver: Rashad McCants, SG, North Carolina
Just in case Chad Ford is wrong about Rudy Fernandez.
23. Sacramento: Roko Leni Ukic, PG, Croatia
You have to figure that Sacramento is going European on this pick. Our task was to figure out which one. Thatâ€™s a tough task if youâ€™re not Chad Ford. After vacillating between Ersan Ilyasova and Kosta Perovic, we went with the 6-5 Ukic, who could play a number of positions for Sacramento in the future.
Random discussion about Sactoâ€™s pick:
Franchise: â€œTheyâ€™re going Euro.â€
Chapman: â€œOf course, Geoff Petrie is a Euro genius. Iâ€™ve got a hunch that theyâ€™re taking Ilyasova.â€
Howland: â€œChapman, why do you say Ilyasova over Perovic?â€
Chapman: â€œI have no idea. Letâ€™s go with Roko Leni Ukic instead.â€
24. Houston: C.J. Miles, SG, Dallas Skyline (TX)
The Rockets go (somewhat) homegrown and snag the Texas high schooler Miles, hoping he turns out to be a shorter, lefthanded version of Rashard Lewis.
25. Seattle: Monta Ellis, G, Lanier High (MS)
Back-to-back high schoolers? What is this? 2004? Depending on what happens in the off-season, the Sonics could have a number of needs. With Antonio Daniels seemingly on the way out, the Sonics go for guard depth. Consideration was given to Kansas PF Wayne Simien, but having Simien and Nick Collison on the same team never worked for Roy Williams.
26. Detroit: Julius Hodge, SG, North Carolina State
What do they need? Other than a new public address announcer, not much. Is Lindsey Hunter coming back? Will Carlos Delfino ever stop pouting? Hodge can play a number of positions and play them well.
OK, one more time for your Mom: DEEEEEEEEETROIT BASKET-BALL!
27. Utah: Francisco Garcia, SG, Louisville
Chapman: â€œUtah is in real trouble. They need to go point or go big. I submit Francisco Garcia, Randolph Morris, Johan Petro and Andrew Bynum.â€
Howland: â€œWhy go big? They already have Curtis Borchardt.â€
(Tumbleweed crosses the room)
Franchise: â€œThis sucks for Utah. They should trade some of these bums.â€
Chapman: â€œMaybe they could pick Kennedy Winston. He fits right into their plan of drafting under-the-radar collegiate stars whose games donâ€™t translate into NBA success.â€
Franchise: â€œI thought about him too.â€
Howland: â€œUmmmâ€¦no. He would have Jerry Sloan LOSING HIS MIND in about ten minutes.â€
Chapman: â€œHow about Francisco Garcia? I mean, we have them drafting Fran Vasquez already. Maybe they could hire Fran Tarkenton as a PR guy and have the draft after-party at Franâ€™s. Mean 24-hour breakfast.â€
Howland: â€œI still think San Antonio takes Garcia.â€
Chapman: â€œUtah picks BEFORE San Antonioâ€
28. San Antonio: Ersan Ilyasova, SF, Turkey
Because Robert Horry canâ€™t play forever.
29. Miami: Wayne Simien, PF, Kansas
Because Udonis Haslem will end up playing in France if he keeps playing like he has against Detroit.
30. New York: Randolph Morris, C, Kentucky
Chapman: â€œItâ€™s got to be Andrew Bynum. Imagine Bynum and Mike Sweetney at NYC buffets!â€
Howland: â€œThey could open their own restaurant called All Sweetney and Bynum Can Eat.â€
Franchise: â€œAll this Bynum and Sweetney talk is making me hungry.â€
Howland: â€œWhat about Petro?â€
Chapman: â€œCan somebody please make this happen? I think there would be a public lynching of Isiah Thomas if they picked Petro, especially after the Frederic Weis fiasco.â€
Franchise: â€œThe Hawks would love it if Bynum fell to them.â€
Chapman: â€œThatâ€™s why the Hawks are always in the lottery.â€