Five-minute guide (cont.)
Posted: Tuesday June 26, 2007 6:03PM; Updated: Tuesday June 26, 2007 6:15PM
Five questions that may haunt prospects
1. How serious are Oden's wrist and back injuries? Not worrisome enough to dissuade Portland from picking him No. 1.
2. Will concerns about Al Thornton's wrist -- which may need surgery this summer -- cause him to drop?
3. Will the Florida trio of Horford, Noah and Corey Brewer star individually in the NBA? Or did they make each other look better than they really are?
4. Can Mike Conley Jr. extend his shooting range to the three-point line? "You look at players of his size,'' an Eastern executive said of the 6-1, 175-pound point guard, "and not many of them have made it in the NBA.'' But other scouts believe in Conley's floor leadership and his speed to penetrate whenever he pleases.
5. Will the investment in Brandan Wright pay off? No high pick has more upside than the North Carolina freshman -- but no one will have more to learn during his rookie season either.
Five NBA stars who may influence the draft
1. Kevin Garnett: Will Minnesota spend the No. 7 pick to complement Garnett -- or to ultimately replace him?
2. Paul Pierce: Will the Celtics trade the No. 5 pick for a veteran to pair with Pierce? Or will they once again go young in the draft, which could compel them to trade Pierce while he still has value?
3. Shawn Marion: The Suns are deep into the luxury tax and trading Marion's contract is an obvious way to slash payroll -- especially if it gives them a crack at picking Noah.
4. Kobe Bryant: The Lakers need to upgrade their talent to appease Bryant. They must either package the No. 19 pick for an established veteran or use the pick to bring in somebody who can help them improve next year.
5. LeBron James: The Cavaliers have neither roster flexibility nor a first-rounder in this draft. Will they succeed in buying a pick -- at a cost of $3 million -- that they can convert into a future star capable of helping James' run at a championship?