Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Four Players to Look for in 2007 (and one in '08)

Dritz and I teamed up for our annual draft preview column, but something is amiss over at home base. I think all my editors are on vacation. So I am breaking it down by group and posting it here, just so we can point to somethin when all of our predictions come true. Here is the first of many:

Four Players to Look For in the 2007 Draft and One to Look For in the 2008 Draft

1. Greg Oden. I don’t need to say much about Oden. He’s the most heralded high school prospect since LeBron, and with good reason. I saw him play in person, and he’s just an absolute monster. Oden’s a legit 7 feet, runs the court well, blocks shots, hits the boards, and can hit 15-foot jumpers. His game is incredibly developed for a 18-year-old. Right now, he’s one of the top 10 centers in the world. He claims he wants to stay in college, but it’s hard to believe he’s going to be able to resist the lure of big money after a dominant college season next year.

2. Josh McRoberts. He considered entering the draft this year, but decided to hang around Duke and be “the Man” this season. He is very athletic and runs the court well for a big man. He’s strong and has an NBA body. Barring an injury, he’ll be a top-5 pick next year.

3. Joakim Noah. This son of a former tennis star might have been the #1 pick this year, but decided to return to Florida and try to defend their national title. At 6’10”, he runs the court faster than guards, and has the rare ability to take over a game with his defense and shot-blocking. His offensive game is developing rapidly. He probably should have come out this year, though, since his stock was so high. Another year in college, and scouts will start to find problems with his game (like his awkward-looking ballhandling).

4. Kevin Durant. He dominated the McDonald’s game with his play. He’s strong and has a very sweet shot for a 6’9” player with his athleticism. Word is he’s “one-and-done” at Texas. If so, he could be a top-five pick as well.

5. O.J. Mayo (2008 Draft). The Cincinnati prep star has drawn comparisons to Kobe Bryant with the completeness of his play. He can score at will, and fills up the stat sheets. Supposedly, he’s headed to Kansas State after this season to play for Bob Huggins, but he’s highly unlikely to stay for more than a year.

Adam’s Comments. For the life of me, I’ll never understand why Noah went back to school. I know he has plenty of money and loves campus life and all that, but seriously, what was he thinking? I see a Matt Leinart-like drop in his near future. I guess the moral of the story is this: “stay in school … unless you are going to be the #1 pick in a major professional sports draft.” The worst part about Noah’s decision is that he is going to cost teammates Al Horford and Corey Brewer some serious money. Everyone knows that 2008 is shaping up to be a far superior draft, so it is unlikely that any of the young Gators will retain their lofty projections once next spring rolls around. Even if they repeat (unlikely given all the luck required) they will still lose in the big picture. Noah will go from a possible #1 pick to probably the 6-10 range, Horford was looking at Shelden Williams’ spot in this draft (5-8) and will now probably fall out of the lottery, and Brewer was settling in at late lottery and will now most likely to drop into the 20’s. I’m telling you, this is a bigger deal than people realize.


Anonymous said...

you talk about the 08 draft being superior...just look at some of the names being thrown around the 07 draft. every single one of these guys has the potential to be a 20 point scorer, or a stud in some other way shape or form.

-Greg Oden (best C as soon as he makes the jump, assuming Dwight Howard and Amare are forwards)
-Joakim Noah
-Kevin Durant
-Thaddeus Young
-Brandin Wright
-Julian Wright
-Josh Mcroberts
-Jeff Green
-Nick Young
-Al Horford
-Corey Brewer
-Marcus Williams (the one who looks like he was born on a basketball court, not the fat UConn one)
-Ronnie Steele
-Richard Roby
-Tyler Hansbrough
-Rudy Fernandez
-Tywon Lawson
-Spencer Hawes

that doesn't include all the second round players that are classified under the Michael Redd potential steal category

-Bobby Brown
-Curtis SUmpter
-Aron Aflalo
-Alando Tucker
-JR Giddens
-Acie Law
-Malik Hairston

and, by the way, how come Brandon Rush doesn't get any love from anybody? Why is he not even a lottery pick? The fact that he can be the leading rebounder on a team like Kansas, while shooting 50% from 3, while scoring and defending and passing and handling like he does at 6-8 as a freshman?

congratulations if you could actually finish reading all this

Jeff Dritz said...

Interesting thought. My only comment is that while Alando Tucker may not get much love in the NBA draft next year, he went #1 in my "Fantasy Chris Rock Lookalike" draft last week.

Adam Hoff said...

That is a nice list, but when did anyone say the '08 Draft is going to be superior to the '07 version?

Anonymous said...


Just a little FYI....Alando Tucker is not the famous UW-Madison Chris Rock look-a-like. You are referring to Kammron Taylor. Get your players right if you are gonna post.