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Mock Draft - RaptorsHQ Style

Starting at the top with Toronto and working down to the Blazers at 30, we took a shot at where we thought players would be picked in the draft that's about to go down in 13 days. We decided to go based on our own gut feelings and disregard most trade scenarios and other movement. So without further delay...

1. Toronto:

Franchise: Andrea Bargnani - While I'd like for the Raps to take Tyrus Thomas, I think in the end, trades or not, this is the Raps' pick. All this flying to Italy certainly isn't just for B.C.'s love of pasta.

Howland: Andrea Bargnani - This was discussed for some time, the politics, team needs and the respective "games" of a number of players. The more we discuss the higher the likelihood the pick is moved. If not sometimes you have to overpay...which is what the Raps would be doing.

Chapman: Bargnani - …although I'm still willing to bet (and you all know how much I enjoy action) that the Raps move this pick.

2. Chicago (via New York):

Franchise: LaMarcus Aldridge - I don't think the Bulls can pass on this pick. Tyrus makes sense as well but for the Bulls to get a player in Aldridge who can score and still rebound and block shots at the four beside Tyson Chandler seems too good to think twice about.

Howland: Tyrus Thomas - They need an athletic forward who can play alongside the stringbean Chandler and drafting Gay or Morrison would simply replicate what they have. The rumours are rampant that Roy could be there boy, but Thomas seems to be the way to go.

Chapman: Aldridge - I hemmed and hawed on this selection for a while. In the end, I think Aldridge is the selection, giving the Baby Bulls the low-post scoring threat they need.

3. Charlotte

Franchise: Adam Morrison - I think the Bobcats would like a player of Morrison's intensity and the fact that he's the best scoring wing available seals the deal.

Howland: Rudy Gay - Offence and defense and to see another UCONN guy come out and take his play to another level would not be surprising. Bickerstaff wants guys that can play D....sorry Morrison you are better known for playing "e"fence....that's right no D.

Chapman: Gay - I'm going to go ahead and agree with Howland here. Gay might possibly have the most upside of any player in this draft, if he makes like Steppenwolf and gets his motor running in the pros. Remember that Charlie V had the same issues coming out of UConn.

4. Portland

Franchise: Brandon Roy - Portland is a mess...assuming they keep their pick they really need the most NBA ready player available and with Morrison gone this leaves Roy and Shelden Williams. Roy gets the nod for his ability to replace Darius Miles...who's probably done his last "head tap" in Portland.

Howland: LaMarcus Aldridge - They are likely to lose Joel P. to some crazy team willing to overpay and need to add a true big that also has solid character. If Randolph was not such an IDIOT off the court they would have some nice pieces on this team. They would of course look at local kid Adam Morrison but as we all know, "You can't teach size."

Chapman: Adam Morrison - Remember, the Blazers are a PR nightmare...still. Morrison would be a feel-good story and would give them the perimeter scorer that they desperately need.

5. Atlanta Hawks

Franchise: Marcus Williams - I know the Hawks should probably take Foye or a swingman of some sort just to continue their tradition of lunacy but Marcus Williams makes a lot of sense here and after missing on CP3 last year, not sure they can afford to pass on Williams.

Howland: Brandon Roy - The Hawks are not sold on Marcus Williams and Roy is being dubbed the most ready for the NBA. He has some skills to play the PG and of course the SG position. With him and Joe Johnson in the backcourt you have two guys who can handle the ball and could play off each other's scoring ability. Besides, when was the last time the Hawks did anything that made sense in the draft?

Chapman: Tyrus Thomas - No, I haven't forgotten about him. Hawks could use a defensive presence and, if you believe his trainer, Randy Livingston, Thomas nailed 15 of 25 NBA 3s in a recent workout. Plus, it would be a classic Hawks move to draft another 6-9 athletic forward.

6. Minnesota

Franchise: Rudy Gay: Tyrus keeps on tumbling in my mind. Rudy Gay seems to be a perfect fit here. On paper he's still the player with the best "upside" in this draft and if GM McHale is serious about keeping KG, Gay may be able to come in and give this team a nice lift.

Howland: Adam Morrison - KG wants help right away and the Wolves won't pass on Morrison if he falls this far. Putting him in a Wolves uni quickly helps reduce the scoring burden on the Big Ticket. With Morrison and McCants you have two developing offensive forces....but to quote Bilas...if you had a nickel for everytime either of these guys played would have a nickel. Seriously debated putting Sheldon Williams here but Morrison is too hard to pass up.

Chapman: Marcus Williams - Especially if Marcus Banks looks to cash in on his 30 games of fame in the garbage time that was the second half of the 05-06 Timberwolves season. Sure, Williams has some character issues, but is the top PG in the draft and would be a great fit for Minnesota.

7. Boston Celtics

Franchise: Tyrus Thomas - Celts are actually in a great spot in this draft. Depending on what happens at the top, it's quite possible that Marcus Williams, Brandon Roy and Shelden Williams could all be available at this spot. Thomas is another raw prospect and Boston is filled with them but based on talent, I just can't see Thomas falling any lower than this spot. And if Al Jefferson shows up out of shape again...

Howland: Marcus Williams - Ainge has been pretty fortunate in past drafts in having guys fall to him. Gerald Green is a great example of that. Marcus Williams is next in line. Ainge wants to move West to the SG spot and get himself a true floor general. He gets his man with this former Husky and suddenly the Celts have youth at every position on the floor.

Chapman: Brandon Roy - I agree with Franchise. Boston is in a great spot here. Roy, who has been rumoured to go as high as #2, is NBA-ready and should have a great career. I'd love to see him in the T-Dot.

8. Houston Rockets

Franchise: JJ Redick - Houston needs some help at the 2 and an outside shooter like Redick would be a great fit in Jeff Van Gundy's system. With the inside outside game of Yao and T-Mac, Redick should have lots of opportunity to bomb away...well...provided Rafer passes him the ball.

Howland: Shelden Williams: Well pairing Yao with an athletic 4 in Swift was an absolute failure to date and Van Gundy loves banging 4's and 5's (just look at his time with the Knicks) that play D. Shelden would be a good influence in the locker room and would be free to clean a lot of glass. Although he wouldn't be a great scorer he could play a Udonis Haslem type role and besides, if Mike James gets his way and goes there, they will have no scoring issues.

Chapman: Redick - Yeah, I hate Duke. Houston is in such need of outside shooting that GM Carroll Dawson actually tried to sign me last season. Without question, Redick is a much better shooter than I am. Unfortunately, he also has one more DWI than I do.

9. Golden State Warriors

Franchise: Patrick O'Bryant - GS needs some help at center (unless you think the re-signing of Adonal Foyle was a great idea) and O'Bryant is a legit 7 footer with an athletic defensive presence that Chris Taft can only dream of.

Howland: Patrick O'Bryant. Sure there's a ton of money invested in Foyle, but they need someone to develop next to Biedrins. Adding O'Bryant will give the Warriors another weapon and a big one at that. Although he is a project GS won't pass on the 7 footer. Foye would be a great "value pick" but with B-Diddy and D-Fish locked in there O'Bryant is the choice.

Chapman: Randy Foye - I thought long and hard about O'Bryant, but I just don't see it. Backcourt help is a must and Foye can play both 1 and 2. He's darn good as well. I'm going to buck Franchise, Howland and Chad Ford here and say that the Warriors take the Nova product here. As an aside, how come whenever I type "Warriors", the awful Lloyd Banks track comes into my head?

10. Seattle SuperSonics

Franchise: Randy Foye â€" Uh that Banks song is terrible Chapman, thanks for putting it in MY head…ok, on to Seattle. Foye is undersized but seems like the Ben Gordon combo-type guard who is enjoying success in this new NBA. Until the Sonics figure their point guard situation out Foye can play both guard spots giving the Sonics options down the road.

Howland: Randy Foye - Foye is a nice addition here. They don't need more youth up front but adding a combo guard is just what they need. With a rotation of Watson, Foye and Ridnour they will be able to play any style. They still can't stop anyone, but the Suns have proven that is not necessarily a big concern.

Chapman: Patrick O'Bryant - I guess the HQ consensus is that Foye and O'Bryant are going 9-10, in an order to be determined. I wonder if any book in the world offers 9-10 exacta boxes on the NBA Draft. At any rate, O'Bryant joins our buddies Johan Petro "Canada" and Robert Swift (aka the Zamboni Guy from those annoying Mastercard commercials) in the Sonics frontcourt rotation.

11. Orlando Magic

Franchise: Ronnie Brewer â€" Nother interesting comparison Chappy…Robert Switft DOES look like the Mastercard Zamboni dude. I’m guessing that really was him doing double duty for the Sonics and cleaning the ice for the Tacoma Rockets in his spare time. As for Orlando, I’m going with Ronnie B. Brewer was one of my favourite college players last season and while the Raps won't likely get a shot at him, one of the benefits of drafting him is you get an athlete who plays D and can play a number of positions. This is a perfect fit for the Magic who probably don't see Deshaun Stevenson in the future at shooting guard and at 6-7, Brewer is a great fit in the backcourt with the smaller Jameer Nelson.

Howland: Fran Vasquez. Ronnie Brewer. They have their starting PG but we all know that Nelson has limitations and Brewer would be a complete game changer for them. Being able to play two positions he would also be an automatic upgrade over Stevenson. His great D would also be a big help in order to compensate for Nelson's deficiencies at that end too.

Chapman: Rodney Carney - Heck, I love Brewer as much as the next guy. I just think Carney is a tad more explosive than Brewer and a better defender. Orlando needs an upgrade from DeShawn Stevenson and Carney provides that.

12. NO/OK Hornets

Franchise: Shelden Williams. This is a great fit for the Hornets if Williams falls this far. He'll come in and give this team a serious injection of toughness, bang in the paint, play great defense and surprise teams with his ability to mesh with Chris Paul on pick and rolls.

Howland: Cedric Simmons - Time to add some athletic talent to the front court and Simmons does just that. With PJ looking at Freedom 55 they need an influx of youth at the F/C spot. Draftexpress calls him a poor man's Dwight Howard. They would be crazy to pass on this guy even if the review was "Welfare" Dwight Howard. He can run, play the half-court set, and can add to the team on the defensive end as well.

Chapman: Cedric Simmons - Simmons is the only reason that NC State games were even watchable last season. What? You thought I was going to say Engin Atsur? NO-OKC needs some frontcourt help and I think Simmons has more upside (heck, I feel like Hubie Brown with all the use of the word "upside") than the Landlord, Shelden Williams.

13. Philadelphia 76ers

Franchise: Cedric Simmons - This one's a tough call as so much relies on what the 76ers decide to do with AI. If they're looking to rebuild then Rajon Rondo makes sense but for now we'll assume AI stays pat and the 76ers need a serious injection of D. With Dalembert maybe on his way out of town Simmons could step in as a much cheaper replacement and shot-blocking threat and a someone who could eventually fill Chris Webber’s aging shoes.

Howland: Rodney Carney - Sure they already have a sick athletic swingman in Iggy, but last time I checked having two of them is working for the Nets. There really is not a PG they would take here (Rondo's inability to shoot is hurting him) and they can't wait to develop a big if they keep AI and Webber. Although it may move Korver to the bench at some point during the season, having the "hired gun" come in off the bench has worked for many teams in the past.

Chapman: Ronnie Brewer - Hopefully, Ronnie turns out to be a better pro than the last Brewer in the NBA. No, not J.J. Redick, but Jamison Brewer. You don't remember him? Think of the dude on the end of the Pacer and Knick benches over the past few years that was a dead-ringer for Shaggy. Yeah, that's him...

14. Utah Jazz

Franchise: Rodney Carney - Utah is building a nice core and a shooting guard with some athletic talent would further cement this. Carney isn't perhaps the shooter that the team needs but as a successful college senior, should match up well with the disciplined Jerry Sloan and give the team someone they sorely need who can create off the dribble.

Howland: J.J. Redick - They have their PG, they have their front-court, but outside of Gordon Giricek they need a shooter. JJ obviously can do that and he won't be under a lot of pressure here. Does he necessarily fit into the pick and roll system used by Jerry Sloan? Not really but the Jazz can take the risk as they are a playoff team when healthy...which is never.

Chapman: Maurice Ager - The Jazz need an explosive swingman who can shoot. Ager is that guy. His workouts have been solid and his Maui Invitational performance last season vs. Gonzaga was no joke like Rakim.

15. Hornets (via Bucks)

Franchise: Rajon Rondo - Hornets can go a number of ways here depending on what they do with JR Smith and Desmond Mason but with Speedy Claxton likely to head somewhere else via free agency, Rondo would be a great backup to Paul and an interesting change of pace player.

Howland: Thabo Sefolosha - They will likely go Euro here and will debate between Thabo and Oleksiy Pecherov to add another big. In the end considering both Mason and JR Smith have been disappointments to this team Thabo can either push them to be better or take their spot a year or so down the road. It will take him some time to find his groove in the NBA but when he does he could become a very solid player on both ends of the court.

Chapman: Shelden Williams - Would it surprise you if Williams walked around all day, quoting the Clipse: "Label me Landlord, I keep keys in my hand"? More frontcourt help and a local product to boot.

16. Chicago Bulls

Franchise: Thabo Sefolosha - The Bulls have had good experience with international players as of late and Sefolosha would be a nice fit at this spot. He's got an all around game that fits with the Bulls style of play and his size and athletic ability would be a welcome addition on the perimeter.

Howland: Oleksiy Pecherov - The Bulls really do not need any more youth, so why not take a flyer on someone who could turn out to be a real nice player if given time? Pecherov is very much an unknown in this draft and he is being put all over draft boards. He is known for his shooting and touch but for a big man is missing the required bulk. Look for the Bulls to deal this pick.

Chapman: Sefolosha - For my reasons, see Franchise's comments. For me to go on would be redundant.

17. Indiana Pacers

Franchise: Hilton Armstrong - Armstrong may end up being one of the surprises of this draft. He's only starting to realize his potential after a great senior season at UConn and could give Rick Carlisle the shot-blocking presence that David Harrison could only dream of. He's not going to be a scoring presence, but would be a great fit beside Jermaine O'Neal…check that…he might also be a great fit as a replacement for O’Neal.

Howland: Maurice Ager- Fred Jones is a RFA and they can use someone to take his spot. One of the best college hoops players can do that. Ager would likely find more success in a run and gun team but can stroke the three and be a great weapon off the bench. Indiana will look at a PG to finally take over that position but Collins, Rondo and Rodriguez seem to be replicas of what they have (Tinsley, Johnson, Sarunas).

Chapman: Rajon Rondo - The Pacers could use some backcourt help and a PG of the future. Franchise's fave, Rondo, fits the bill. Even though Howland doesn't think a PG is what they need (nor does he know how to spell Jasikevicius), I will respectfully disagree. Johnson and Jasikevicius are in their early 30s and Tinsley is an injury waiting to happen. The Pacers would be smart to get their PG of the future here.

18. Washington Wizards

Franchise: Alexander Johnson - The Wizards have a great bunch of scoring players who can get up and down the court but lack any true half court presence. Johnson has K-Mart like abilities in the post and would give this team some much needed grit down low.

Howland: Hilton Armstrong - Brendan Haywood has had every opportunity in the world and Etan Thomas is better off writing poetry then getting large minutes. The Wizards need to continue to build the front-court and with Blatche they have some good youth. Hilton will never be asked to do anything more than block shots and rebound on the Wiz...lucky for him those are his fortes.

Chapman: Alexander Johnson - A beast down low, he would be a better fit for the Wizards than Armstrong because he's a better offensive option. Howland is right about Thomas and Michael Ruffin is possibly the worst offensive player in NBA history.

19. Sacramento Kings

Franchise: - Kyle Lowry - The Kings are back. The Ron Artest trade has made the Kings a West Coast contender again however the team still has some needs to address. Jason Hart isn't the long-term answer at point and Kyle Lowry would be an Eric Mussleman favourite. His defence, hustle and point guard instincts would be a great change of pace from Mike Bibby.

Howland: Rajon Rondo - This seems a little low for ET (check Rondo’s fingers) but this is where he lands. Rondo would add some much needed depth to the Kings backcourt and eventually take some pressure off Bibby. Sure his shot needs some work but he has the necessary talent to be a starter in this league. A back-court with Bibby, Martin and Rondo would be a nice mix.

Chapman: Sergio Rodriguez - Since when does Rondo look like ET? Sam Casssell? Sure. Willie McGee? Fine. Rondo? That gets the big W, Howland. For WEAK. Kings desperately need PG help and "Spanish Chocolate" Rodriguez makes the grade for Geoff Petrie and satisfies his Euro fascination.

20. Knicks (via Nuggets)

Franchise: Jordan Farmar â€" Hold up…Chapman, I believe the ET reference was more to Rondo’s fingers than anything else…although now that you put those pics up…
Ok Knicks. My real guess here is that on draft day, Larry Brown and Isiah fight over who to pick to the point where the clock expires and the Suns run up and make theirs thus causing the Knicks to lose their pick. Realistically though, even if Larry Brown goes, this team needs some leadership at point. If Farmar stays in the draft as expected, it would be wise for the Knicks to grab him as their point of the future. However the words "it would be wise" and Isiah Thomas just don't mix...

Howland: Shawne Williams - There's a shortage of PG and undersized PF's so look for them to find the successor to Jalen Rose. Shawne is a multi-dimensional player and although he needs some work so does the whole Knicks franchise. A solid pick for the Knicks and provides some youth at a position dominated by the elderly.

Chapman: Saer Sene - If there's any team in this draft that will drool over Sene and his athleticism and crazy wingspan, it's the Knicks. I wonder if Isiah has any intention of bringing Frederic Weis over any time soon.

21. Suns (via Lakers)

Franchise: Saer Sene - The Suns can afford to let some prospects develop with their recent success and Sene tops all of these. With his length and shot blocking abilities Sene would be another great find for this club for the long term. If Diaw can turn into an All-Star then who knows what Dantoni can do with Sene.

Howland: Saer Sene - They can go anyway with this pick, so why not take a project, in particular a big. We all know Amare will be around so why not add a beast in the centre. There is no rush for him to develop and once Nash is done their style of play may change. Sene is this years Pavol, don't expect anything for a while but when you are this good you can reach in the draft.

Chapman: Quincy Douby - Rutgers WHAT! The word is that his workouts have been impressive and he'd be a good fit in D'Antoni's offense.

22. Nets (via Clippers)

Franchise: James Augustine - The Nets need some help at the four. Augustine is an athletic big who would excel next to J Kidd and would be great off the bench to replace Mr. Green Cliff Robinson. At Illinois he did most of his damage off of put-backs and lobs and that's not about to stop in Jay-Z's domain.

Howland: Jordan Farmar - The Nets Have been searching for a back-up PG for years now. Farmar is a true PG and could play some quality minutes behind J-Kidd. There is not a lot of minutes to be had in the swamp and but Farmar would finally settle the back-up issue. There would not be a lot of pressure to perform and he would simply be asked to get the rock to Jefferson and Vince.

Chapman: Shawne Williams - Young, athletic and talented, he'd be a great fit with the Nets, who lack athletic bigs. Plus, he could help Jay-Z break into the Memphis market...Three 6 Mafia on Def Jam? We'll see...

23. New Jersey Nets

Franchise: Josh Boone - Load'em up! The Nets really need depth and up front is the biggest weakness. I know there are Knicks rumours concerning Boone but if he stays in this draft he would be another good fit for the Nets.

Howland: Josh Boone - This guy has been all over draft boards and the Nets get a steal this late. No-one really knows what Boone can bring but there is a ton of opportunity here in NJ for him to step in an contribute. Boone with Kristic would help solidify the front-court and ensure that Collins is where he should be...the bench.

Chapman: Kyle Lowry - The Nets would be super excited to grab Lowry here. He's an athletic point guard who is well-suited to running the Nets offense. Plus, Jay-Z has a history of dropping Lowry references...remember Squeeze 1st? "Bad boy, not Puff, but Mike Lowry"....

24. Memphis Grizzlies

Franchise: Quincy Douby â€" This is when I do my Rutgers (like Wyclef) WHAT yell. Grizz are a great defensive team but have had problems scoring. Douby would be a solution and could play either position depending on how Damon Stoudamire' rehab goes.

Howland: Quincy Douby - Bobby Jackson has come out and said he wants no more part of the Grizz. With Stoudamire coming back from injury they need to add someone at the point. Douby has all the talent in the world on the offensive end and provided he listens to Fratello he could find some minutes sooner rather than later. Look for Memphis to also consider Aaron Gray.

Chapman: Mardy Collins - You know the Logo would be beside himself to get a guy like Collins here. Big (6-6) point guard, well-schooled in the game's fundamentals from playing four years at Temple under John Chaney. PG is an issue for the Grizz, as Franchise mentioned, and Collins fills the void.

25. Cleveland Cavaliers

Franchise: Sergio Rodriguez - Eric Snow's D has been solid for the club but Damon Jones is not the answer at backup and Rodriguez will be a fan favourite. Beyond that Sergio has great passing abilities and would be a great fit for the new-age showtime ala Lebron.

Howland: Sergio Rodriguez - Franchise and I are on the same page for the last few picks. Cleveland needs a PG desparately and Sergio can fill that role. Snow is DONE and it is time to bring in someone that can bring the ball up the floor that is not named Lebron. The guy can shoot and get the ball to the right guys. Great pick for them here.

Chapman: Guillermo Diaz - Despite Howland and Franchise being on the same page, I am not with them, as per usual. With Rodriguez gone to Sacramento, the Cavs fill their need for an explosive PG and that's Diaz, out of Miami (FL). Kid can ball, trust me on this.

26. L.A. Lakers (via Heat)

Franchise: Mardy Collins - Phil Jackson loves big guards and at 6-6 Collins fits the bill. His defense and ability to play multiple positions will fit in perfectly with number 24.

Howland: Mardy Collins - I agree with Franchise. Enough of the agreeing.

Chapman: Jordan Farmar - Well put, Howland. I don't agree with either of you. Farmar, the local product, gives the Lakers a PG of the future. Farmar would be a lottery pick if he was smart and went back to UCLA for another season, so the Lakers are happy to get him here.

27. Phoenix Suns

Franchise: Maurice Ager â€" This is where I have Ager falling. As we’ve previously discussed, he’s had great workouts and I think he’s just another great fit for a team like the Suns.

Howland: Alexander Johnson - The Suns just keep filling up the stables with more horses and Johnson would be a great back-up for Amare. Another physical specimen he would add more toughness to the front-court and has a nose for rebounding...maybe the biggest weakness for this team.

Chapman: Shannon Brown - I wouldn't be surprised if the Suns took an international big like Marcus Vinicius or Olexsiy Pecherov here, but I don't know enough about them to comment. I think the Suns look to continue to add toughness to the backcourt and grab an athletic swingman in Brown.

28. Dallas Mavericks

Franchise: Guilermo Diaz â€" Looks like Howland and I are going to be agreeing again on this one…yes, I take Diaz here as without Jason Terry (who could jump ship as a free agent) Diaz steps in gives the Mavs an explosive scoring replacement.

Howland: Guillermo Diaz - The Mavs can realistically take anyone and not be overly concerned if they pitch in now or ever. Diaz has a sweet stroke and if Terry bolts they could even try him at the PG position. His athleticism makes him a good fit as the Mavs could put their players against any track and field team.

Chapman: Rudy Fernandez - We liked him last year and I think the Mavs take a crack at him late in the first. He can shoot, is athletic and can handle the ball. All he needs to do is add strength. Think Diop and Dampier could help him with that?

29. Knicks (via Spurs)

Franchise: Shannon Brown/Paul Davis - So the question is, do the Knicks miss out on this pick too ha ha? This pick is a toss-up for me in a sense. If the Knicks get Ager earlier, than I think they take Paul Davis here for some legit size but if the rumors are true and they grab Boone earlier, Brown makes sense here provided he’s still on the board. Lots of certainty with these things eh?

Howland: Denham Brown - The TO boys scrapes into the first round....provided Larry Brown is still around. He can contribute in all facets and not demand the spotlight.... something the Knicks are not used to.

Chapman: Josh Boone - Unlike Franchise and Howland, I'm not as high on Boone. I do agree with them, however, that a New York area team drafts him and that the Knicks take a UConn product at 29. However, it would not surprise me if Isiah attempted to draft another Frenchman here, maybe Zinedine Zidane.

30. Blazers (via Pistons)

Franchise: Shawne Williams - And finally, the Jailblazers. The Blazers really just need to restock and get some quality players both on and off the court. Williams is raw, but has the best potential of anyone left at this point and could end up being a steal.

Howland: PJ Tucker- The Blazers need to find more character guys and Tucker is just that. Tucker is a hard worker and has good ability for someone at the end of the first round. Taking him and Aldridge keep the Texas boys together helping develop more team chemistry and easing the transition into the NBA.

Chapman: Aaron Gray - Especially if Ghostface Przybilla leaves...the Blazers will need to add another stiff to their frontcourt rotation.