The final mock draft

The final mock draft
By Dan Wetzel, Yahoo Sports
June 27, 2005

Dan Wetzel
Yahoo Sports
Wetzel's position previews: PG | SG | SF | PF | C
More NBA draft: Prospects video | Draft order

NEW YORK – We can all but guarantee our second (to-be) mock(ed) draft effort will fall apart quickly Tuesday night. But that's because what Portland does with the No. 3 pick – namely where it gets traded – will determine everything.

Not that we are looking for a cop-out. Here are our fearless predictions for what should be an eventful evening in Manhattan. (Arrows indicate changes from the first mock draft.)

Bucks 1. Milwaukee BucksAndrew Bogut, 7-0, C, Utah, sophomore.

No change here. The NBA covets big men and the 7-foot Bogut is a good one who's skilled and tough. The Bucks had both Bogut and Marvin Williams in for workouts and appear sold on the big Australian. The University of Utah could have No. 1 overall picks in both the NBA draft and the NFL draft (Alex Smith).

Hawks 2. Atlanta HawksMarvin Williams, 6-9, SF, North Carolina, freshman.

With Bogut gone, the Hawks go with the sixth man on UNC's national championship team. Williams' size and athletic ability are ideal for the NBA. Has a ton of potential. If the Bucks go with Williams, then Bogut heads to Atlanta.

Trail Blazers 3. Portland Trail BlazersChris Paul, 5-11, PG, Wake Forest, sophomore.

It is my opinion that the devastating open-court playmaker is the best player in the draft. Because the Blazers took promising high school point Sebastian Telfair in the first round a year ago, this pick will almost assuredly be dealt and destroy all mock drafts. The Blazers would like to wind up with 7-foot Jersey prep center Andrew Bynum.

Hornets 4. New Orleans HornetsDeron Williams, 6-3, PG, Illinois, junior.

The big, physical point with a steady jump shot replaces Baron Davis and teams with J.R. Smith for the future. If Paul falls, he goes here.

Bobcats 5. Charlotte BobcatsGerald Green, 6-8, SF, Gulf Shores (Texas) Academy.

The Bobcats have talked to Portland about moving up to secure Paul, the local superstar. But if that can't happen, the lure of Green, who's a tremendous athlete, should be too much.

Jazz 6. Utah JazzChanning Frye, 7-0, C, Arizona, senior. up

The Jazz need a big man and Frye is the best available. The long, athletic shot blocker turned the corner in his senior year with the Wildcats. There's a possibility that this pick is for the Knicks, who are in dire need of a center and like Frye.

Raptors 7. Toronto RaptorsAndrew Bynum, 7-0, C, Metuchen (N.J.) St. Joseph High School. up

If he is here, the Raptors grab him, but they need scoring. Texas A&M's Antoine Wright, a strong slasher, can really fill it up. There's a possibility that the Raptors grab Frye and deal him to the Knicks.

Knicks 8. New York KnicksMartell Webster, 6-8, SG, Seattle Prep.

With the Kurt Thomas trade all but done, the Knicks are in dire need of size. It is no secret they want Channing Frye, but it may too late for that. Spain's Fran Vazquez appears to be falling like a rock. The Knicks want to trade with Portland, but if no deal happens, then getting Webster, who has wowed in workouts, isn't a bad alternative. Last-minute events will determine this one.

Warriors 9. Golden State WarriorsHakim Warrick, 6-8, SF, Syracuse, senior. up

Carmelo Anthony's one-time running mate added a perimeter game his senior year. A mature, well-rounded player, Warrick should help a Warriors team that looked promising at season's end.

Lakers 10. Los Angeles LakersRaymond Felton, 6-0, PG, North Carolina, junior. up

The Lakers are also talking with Portland to move up to three, but only to take Deron Williams, whose size they favor over Paul. If you see Portland take Williams at No. 3, then they are drafting for the Lakers and a deal is pending. Paul would slip to New Orleans at four. If that doesn't happen, the Lakers will take Felton, even though he too is on the smaller side.

Magic 11. Orlando MagicAntoine Wright, 6-7, SG, Texas A&M, junior. down

After the chaos of the top 10, the Magic wind up with this physical, high-scoring small forward who carried the Aggies last season.

Clippers 12. Los Angeles ClippersDanny Granger, 6-8, SF, New Mexico, senior.

The Clippers need as many offensive weapons as they can get to surround super young point Shaun Livingston. Granger is a ready-to-play-now kind of player. There's plenty of talk that 6-9 Russian small forward Yaroslav Korolev will go here, but he is said to need seasoning. It might be time for the Clips to think of the now, not the future.

Bobcats 13. Charlotte BobcatsCharlie Villanueva, 6-11, PF, Connecticut, sophomore. down

This pick may get dealt because the Bobcats need a lot of help. If Felton falls, he could go here, too, but taking another UConn Husky, to go along with rookie of the year Emeka Okafor, is a possibility. Villanueva, when he plays hard, is tremendous.

Timberwolves 14. Minnesota TimberwolvesYaroslav Korolev, 6-9, SF, Russia. up

If the Clippers take Korolev, then the Timberwolves would look hard at either Granger or Villanueva, depending who fell into their laps. Korolev is only 17, but he is said to be a big-time scoring prospect.

Nets 15. New Jersey NetsRashad McCants, 6-4, SG, North Carolina, junior. up

McCants will not fall past 15, so if he is here, the Nets will grab him. He is physically strong and can get his shot off with ease. However, there are questions about his defensive intensity – Tar Heels coach Roy Williams had to sub him out on that end of the court during crunch time of the national title game.

Raptors 16. Toronto RaptorsSean May, 6-8, PF, North Carolina, junior. down

The Final Four MVP has an NBA-ready body, nice touch around the rim and a great understanding of the game. There's some talk that Oklahoma State's Joey Graham could wind up here, too.

Pacers 17. Indiana PacersFrancisco Garcia, 6-7, SF, Louisville, junior. up

The Pacers could begin to fill the Reggie Miller gap with this lean shooter from U of L. If Korolev ever fell this far, the Pacers might jump. Big Lithuanian center Martynas Andriuskevicius could slide to this spot as well.

Celtics 18. Boston CelticsRoko Ukic, 6-6, PG, Croatia. up

The Celtics' name has been buzzing around this tall point guard, whom scouts claim is a great on-the-ball defender that's willing to play physical. Another possibility here is Joey Graham, but we'll go with Ukic, whose stock is soaring.

Grizzlies 19. Memphis GrizzliesJulius Hodge, 6-7, SG, North Carolina State, senior. up

Jerry West is said to love his versatility, height and athletic ability. With uncertainty in the backcourt, Hodge gives the Grizzlies some insurance.

Nuggets 20. Denver NuggetsMartynas Andriuskevicius, 7-3, C, Lithuania. down

The Nuggets may package this pick and the 22nd selection to move up and get more scoring (McCants?). But if that deal doesn't go down, a big man with big potential is always possible.

Suns 21. Phoenix SunsIke Diogu, 6-8, PF, Arizona State, junior. up

A whole bunch of routes to go here, including Joey Graham and 7-footer Johan Petro of France, but in terms of immediate help (defense and toughness), the Suns can stay local and grab the Sun Devils star. Diogu could be the Carlos Boozer of this class.

Nuggets 22. Denver NuggetsLinas Kleiza, 6-8, PF, Missouri, junior. up

Again, this pick may be gone in an effort to move up, but if it doesn't happen, the "Vanilla Gorilla" from Mizzou brings a relentless work ethic to the front court.

Kings 23. Sacramento KingsJoey Graham, 6-7, SF, Oklahoma State, senior. down

If he has fallen here, Graham may be the best available player. He certainly is the best available athlete, with a ridiculous blend of size, strength and speed.

Rockets 24. Houston RocketsWayne Simien, 6-9, PF, Kansas, senior. up

The Rockets have frontcourt needs, and Simien is a physical rebounder, defender and scorer. He was a double-double machine during his All-American career at KU. He looks ready to contribute right away.

Sonics 25. Seattle SuperSonicsJarrett Jack, 6-3, PG, Georgia Tech, junior. down

This is the backstop for Jack, who could be gone sooner. If he winds up here, the Sonics get a tough, physical point guard with a lot of potential.

Pistons 26. Detroit PistonsErsan Ilyasova, 6-9, SF, Turkey. up

The Pistons need an outside scoring threat that can contribute next season. That probably isn't available at No. 26, so one of the best young players in Europe who likely would stay there is an option. If Larry Brown is gone next year, expect the new coach, likely Flip Saunders, to finally give young players such as Carlos Delfino, Ronald Dupree and Darko Milicic playing time.

Jazz 27. Utah JazzJohan Petro, 7-1, C, France. down

The 19-year-old has all the tools you can't coach (namely size), but scouts say Petro is still raw. At this point in the draft, gambling on a promising 7-footer is never a bad idea. He'd probably stay in Europe another season.

Spurs 28. San Antonio SpursAmir Johnson, 6-10, SF, Los Angeles Westchester High School. up

The Spurs obviously don't need much, so taking a long, smooth athlete from the prep ranks is a decent bet here. A lot of teams like Johnson, but his lack of strength may prevent them from pulling the trigger sooner.

Heat 29. Miami HeatMonta Ellis, 6-2, PG, Lanier (Miss.) High School. down

The Heat are expected to watch guards Keyon Dooling and Damon Jones opt out of their contracts and explore free agency. Grabbing the speedy Ellis offers some level of cover.

Knicks 30. New York KnicksAndray Blatche, 6-11, PF, South Kent (Conn.) Prep. down

The last pick of the first round is about potential and Blatche, with his size, face-up game and ability to run the open court fits that bill. Intensity is a major concern, but if he didn't have any question marks, he would have been long gone.

Dan Wetzel is Yahoo! Sports' national columnist. He is the co-author of the book "Death to the BCS: The Definitive Case Against the Bowl Championship Series," which following five printings of the first edition was re-released in a second, updated edition in October. Follow him on Twitter. Send Dan a question or comment for potential use in a future column or webcast.

Updated on Monday, Jun 27, 2005 11:06 am, EDT

Email to a Friend | View Popular