ESPN’s Chad Ford offers the Sports Leader’s take on the impending NBA Draft.
It’s almost draft day, and the picture is getting clearer and fuzzier simultaneously.
We’ve been able to narrow down the list of prospects that each team is considering, but two things stand in the way of getting a complete picture.
One, this is a time when many GMs are notorious for dropping smoke screens. A source in Memphis swears the team is taking Joakim Noah. Another says to bank on the Grizzlies’ taking Mike Conley. Someone is misinformed or bluffing.
Two, there is a flurry of trade conversation, starting with Memphis, Boston, Charlotte and Chicago all talking about trading away their lottery picks. Meanwhile teams such as Golden State, Phoenix and the Lakers are trying hard to move up. Others — like Portland, Indiana and Toronto — are trying to get in or grab another pick.
The talk in Phoenix about trading up in the draft has gotten so hot that the Suns have gotten Noah, Jeff Green and Corey Brewer to agree to a workout on Tuesday. They’ll try to add Brandan Wright as a fourth. That shows you how much players want to play in Phoenix — they’ll drop everything just for the chance. It could be the most competitive workout of the draft.
Their consensus draft board:
1. Portland Trailblazers – Greg Oden – C
2. Portland Trailblazers – Kevin Durant – SF – Texas
3. Atlanta Hawks – Al Horford – PF – Florida
4. Memphis Grizzlies – Mike Conley – PG- Ohio State
5. Boston Celtics – Yi Jianlian – PF – China
6. Milwaukee Bucks – Jeff Green – SF – Georgetown
7. Minnesota Timberwolves – Joakim Noah – PF – Florida
8. Charlotte Bobcats – Corey Brewer – SG – Florida
9. Chicago Bulls (via New York Knicks) – Spencer Hawes – C- Washington
10. Sacramento Kings- Brandan Wright – PF – North Carolina
11. Atlanta Hawks (via Indiana Pacers) – Acie Law – PG – Texas A&M
12. Philadelphia 76ers – Al Thornton – SF – Florida State
13. New Orleans Hornets – Nick Young – SG- USC
14. L.A. Clippers – Julian Wright – SF – Kansas
15. Detroit Pistons (via Orlando Magic) – Rodney Stuckey SG – Eastern Wash.
Click the link for more in-depth analysis and for the second half of the draft.