NBA Draft tonight: Here we go. Tonight marks the most stocked and intriguing and potentially seismic NBA Draft of the post-KG Era, if not ever.
The main storylines: Oden vs. Durant (sounds like that's over). Three Gators in the Top 10 (an NBA Draft first to have three players from the same team in the Top 10). Yi flexing
UPDATE: Listen to me with the Basketball Jones guys on their latest podcast. (The Jones podcast is the best sports podcast online -- I was so excited to join in today.)
My 2007 NBA Mock Draft: One of the biggest cop-outs in mock draft-dom is claiming you're picking who a team SHOULD take, rather than who they WILL take. So I'm saying here's who these teams WILL take:
1. Blazers: Kevin Durant
Yes, despite the "reports"
2. Sonics: Greg Oden
3. Hawks: Al Horford
Warning: SEEMS like a no-brainer
4. Grizzlies: Mike Conley
Best PG, best player available
5. Celtics: Yi Jianlian
And fans in
6. Bucks: Corey Brewer
7. T'wolves: Joakim Noah
KG staying, will need energy guy
8. Bobcats: Jeff Green
9. Bulls: Julian Wright
10. Kings: Al Thornton
The old man of the draft class
11. Hawks: Javaris Crittenton
Pass on Law for local, bigger PG
12. Hornets: Nick Young
Who DOESN'T have this slotted here?
13. 76ers: Spencer Hawes
Philly's next... Todd McCullough!
14. Clippers: Acie Law
Best of Big 3 PGs available.
Shocker: Brandan Wright slips out of the Lottery!
My Team: At 16, the Wizards take... Derrick Byars.
Comments: OK, it's time to weigh in with your own official, on-the-record mock-draft predictions. (To avoid comments with a list of 30 teams and players, maybe stick with the Lottery and the non-Lottery pick you'll be most interested in tracking?)
Complete Draft coverage coming in the a.m.
Draft Rumors: Blazers will take Oden. Kevin Pritchard is apparently going to go with his head over his heart, which will drive Durant-as-1 backers (from Simmons to DraftKevinDurant.com) totally insane.
There is NOTHING wrong with that pick. Most fans agree with it. Most GMs agree with it. And it puts
In this particular draft, however, the one downside to picking first is the lingering "What if?" in the event that either (a) Oden doesn't produce titles or (b) Durant does (or KD just looks more entertaining).
KG-Amare deal appears to have fizzled after yesterday's supernova, when – predictably – a Hawks rogue ownership partner put the kibosh on the one deal that could have turned the franchise around.
(Related: Are the Hawks considering taking Yi over Al Horford at No. 3 because of the
But the new hot rumor is the Mavs sending
Draft Fashion: In 2001, I introduced the NBA Draft Fashion Report Card on ESPN.com, then filed it every year after that through last year's draft. It was my favorite column of the year. (Dan Steinberg picks up the slack with a great pre-draft fashion report.)
This year, I'm proud to move that coverage to DanShanoff.com – and proud to welcome a guest-commenter (and my first-round pick for the job), The Head Chick in Charge from the great blog Leave The Man Alone. She will be providing the best draft-fashion live-blog commentary found anywhere online. I'll chip in my own take on the draft fashion in the morning, but HCIC's is the definitive and standard-setting real-time analysis.
The Comments section of the draft-fashion post will also serve as your place to comment on all things draft in real-time.
MLB Dud: Roger Clemens doesn't strike out a player in a game for the first time in 200 starts: This is the worst omen yet that the Yankees' season is lost.
MLB Stud: Jack Cust, who had a career-high 5 RBI to help continue his breakout season.
MLB Malcontent: How come Shea Hillenbrand only shows up in the news when he's being a d-bag?
MLB Milestones: Glavine wins No. 297. No one will remember it came in an abbreviated, 5.1-inning game. They WILL remember it was a 1-hitter.
Tiger as Varsity Dad: He's skipping the Buick Open this week even though Buick is one of his biggest sponsors. However, Tiger WILL play in his OWN event, at Congressional in DC next week.
Sports Media: A few days after wowing me with his unique draft analysis, Penn center Stephen Danley lost me with his ludicrous (if spirited) defense of Alando Tucker.
And, finally: Happy first birthday/anniversary to the deviant-savants over at Kissing Suzy Kolber. If any group has proven the glowing meritocracy of the sports blogosphere, it is these guys. Unfortunately, in KSK's case, their "glow" comes from the bukkake stains resulting from their daily circle-jerk. Happy-happy, fellas.