Pre-draft camp clarifies picture for second mock draft
Posted: Wednesday June 14, 2006 12:01PM; Updated: Monday June 19, 2006 1:08PM
The NBA Pre-Draft Camp is history, and the endgame of the 2006 NBA Draft is in full swing. Individual workouts for teams by the top draft prospects, halted during the camp, will accelerate in number and intensity over the final two weeks leading up to the draft on June 28 in New York.
If every draft-related rumor was worth a nickel, everyone involved in the draft process would be a millionaire by now. Some rumors are the product of overactive media imaginations; others have a dint (or more) of truth but just never come to fruition. The trade rumors that do make it all the way to being executed will be analyzed instantly, and also for years to come. In a draft as wide open as this one, with few players locked into spots at this late date, every single one of the 60 picks is even money to be traded.
Teams that have multiple first round picks (Chicago, New Orleans, Portland, New Jersey, Phoenix and New York) are the most likely to be active, since they can package one of their picks with players and cash and still remain in the first round. Conversely, many of the teams without first round picks (Denver, Detroit, Miami, Milwaukee, San Antonio and the Clippers) possess deep rosters from which they could part with a player in order to move into the first round.
This particular mock draft will be the last one before the official early entrant withdrawal deadline of Sunday, June 18. It reflects the expectation that many of the international early entry candidates will withdraw, as well as the belief that prospects like Aaron Gray, Kyle Lowry, Arron Afflalo, Daniel Gibson, Morris Almond and Richard Roby will withdraw their names.
SI.com's Second Mock NBA Draft -- Round 1
Benetton Treviso (Italy)
Bryan Colangelo has always had an eye for offensive talent, and Bargnani has more scoring potential than almost anyone else in this draft. Colangelo has long demonstrated a deft touch in incorporating international players into his teams. Colangelo has made it plain that he will listen to all offers for the top pick. That doesn't mean he will trade it.
The Bulls badly need an offensive post presence. While Aldridge needs to gain weight and strength to maximize his fundamentally sound post game, he would immediately become Chicago's best low-post scoring option. If Chicago opts for Brandon Roy here, it will have to address its size needs in free agency or in a trade.
Don't tell Bernie Bickerstaff he already has Emeka Okafor and Sean May at power forward. This past season, when those two bigs were only part of an epidemic of injuries, proved you can never have enough talented big people. Thomas is the type of player who can run the lanes for Raymond Felton and Company.
The Blazers' squad that takes the floor next November will likely bear little resemblance to the one that finished this season. With that in mind, it's hard to say what Portland's biggest need is. Roy is a very solid all-around talent who can play right away on both ends of the court, adding stability to a franchise that sorely needs it.
The college game's most gifted playmaker, Williams has that innate point guard feel for the game, knowing how to distribute the ball to teammates through heavy congestion in the lane. As much as Hawks GM Billy Knight loves athletic swingmen, it's time he upgraded the point guard spot and fully maximized the talents of Joe Johnson and his other young scorers.
An electrifying athlete who thrives in the open court game, Carney would help the Wolves take another step in their efforts to fashion a more athletic, running team. He'll need some time to figure out how his individualistic game works within a team framework, but Kevin McHale drafts on talent and lets the chips fall where they may.
Small forward is a position of strength for Boston, but Danny Ainge is nothing if not unconventional in his thinking. Blessed with an explosive first step and quick jumping ability, Gay will be able to break in at his own pace playing alongside Paul Pierce and Wally Szczerbiak.
Too often last season, Houston struggled to score the ball, allowing defenses to tighten their surveillance of Yao Ming and Tracy McGrady. Morrison is a throwback player in that he can score from anywhere on the floor. He moves without the ball, uses screens as well as fakes to get open, and has a lightning quick release.
His 28-point eruption against Shelden Williams and Duke on January 18 underlined the offensive potential of Simmons, who is raw but potentially a future answer to Golden State's yearning for low-post scoring.
Ray Allen and Rashard Lewis are outside-in players who don't want someone clogging the lane anyway, so why not get another 3-point threat and force defenses to spread out even further? Redick's unerring shooting touch, terrific work ethic and intelligence in setting up defenders would fit right in on this team. There has a been a lot of talk that Seattle will trade its pick, but Redick still makes sense this high for a lot of teams.
Mental toughness is a quality highly-coveted by NBA teams, and Foye has plenty, to go along with a lot of shooting guards skills. Foye is an excellent one-on-one player and a better perimeter player than incumbent DeShawn Stevenson.
With P.J. Brown contemplating retirement or a trade to a contender, the Hornets need a dirty-work defender and rebounder to take his place. Over his final two college seasons, Williams averaged 11 boards per game. He also provides a dependable shot-blocking presence.
The son of a former NBA scorer (Ron Brewer), this Brewer is an all-around player who can help a team without scoring a point. You hear a lot about his ugly shot, but he is a smart player who picks his spots to shoot the ball and is a two-way player.
He didn't get a lot of exposure playing for a middling Big East Conference team, but Douby is one of the best perimeter shooters you have never heard of. He has "in the gym" range and is starting to put together an off-the-dribble game as well. The Jazz could certainly use a 3-point threat to complement the frontline of Kirilenko, Boozer and Okur.
The quintessential late bloomer, Armstrong earned some attention this season on one of the nation's most talented teams. His shot-blocking and his defensive prowess are his NBA-level skills, while rounding out his offensive game is on his to-do list. The Hornets, who lost Chris Andersen to drugs, desperately need to fortify a thin frontcourt.