Friday, May 28, 2010

Position Analysis: Power Forward












Starters Rankings:
  1. Amar'e Stoudemire-PHO..............................23.1ppg, 8.9rpg- 82 games played/54 games wins
  2. Dirk Nowitzki-DAL.........................................25.0, 7.7- 81/55
  3. Chris Bosh-TOR.............................................24.0, 10.8- 70/40
  4. Pau Gasol-LAL..............................................18.3, 11.3- 65/57
  5. Carlos Boozer-Utah.......................................19.5, 11.2- 78/53
  6. Tim Duncan-SA..............................................17.9, 10.1, All-Defensive (2nd)- 78/50
  7. Zach Randolph-MEM.....................................20.8, 11.7- 81/40
  8. LaMarcus Aldridge-POR'..............................17.9, 8.0- 78/50
  9. Josh Smith-ATL..............................................15.7, 8.7, 4.2apg. All-Defensive (2nd)- 81/53
  10. Kevin Garnett-BOS.........................................14.3, 7.3- 69/50
  11. Antawn Jamison-WAS...................................18.7, 8.4- 66/2 teams, helped Cleveland to playoffs
  12. David West-NO................................................19.0, 7.5- 81/37
  13. Luis Scola-HOU...............................................16.2, 8.6- 82/42
  14. Jeff Green-OKC...............................................15.1, 6.0- 82/50
  15. Rashard Lewis-ORL........................................14.1, 4.4- 72/59
  16. Troy Murphy-IND...............................................14.6, 10.2- 72/32
  17. Carl Landry-SAC..............................................16.8, 5.9- 80/2 teams
  18. Michael Beasley-MIA.......................................14.8, 6.4- 78/47
  19. Andray Blatche-WAS.......................................14.1, 6.3- 81/26
  20. Danilo Gallinari-NY...........................................15.1, 4.9- 81/29
  21. Kevin Love-MIN.................................................14.0, 11.0- 60/15
  22. Kenyon Martin-DEN..........................................11.5, 9.4- 58/53
  23. Elton Brand-PHL...............................................13.1, 6.1- 76/27
  24. Boris Diaw-CHR...............................................11.3, 5.2- 82/44
  25. Drew Gooden-LAC...........................................10.9, 7.7- 70/2 teams
  26. Taj Gibson-CHI..................................................9.0, 7.5- 82/41
  27. Jonas Jerebko-DET..........................................9.3, 6.0- 73/27
  28. Yi Jianlian-NJ.....................................................12.0, 7.2- 52/12
  29. Anthony Tolliver-GS...........................................12.3, 7.3-46/26
  30. J.J. Hickson-CLV...............................................8.5, 4.9- 81/61 (started 73 games, became a back up once Jamison came in trade and Shaq got healthy)
  31. Luc Richard Mbah a Moute-MIL.......................6.2, 5.5- 73/46

Top 5 Backups:

  1. Al Harrington-NY................................................17.7, 5.6- 72/29-would rank around #16
  2. Lamar Odom-LAL.............................................10.8, 9.8- 82/57-would rank around #17
  3. Paul Millsap-Utah..............................................11.6, 6.8- 82/53-would rank around #19
  4. Udonis Haslem-MIA..........................................9.9, 8.1- 78/47-would rank around #26
  5. Ersan Ilysova-MIL..............................................10.4, 6.4- 81/46-would rank around #27

Notable players not on list due to injuries:
Blake Griffin-LAC

Highest Paid Starter: Tim Duncan-22.18 million
Lowest Paid Starter: Anthony Tolliver-427,316

Oldest Starter: Tim Duncan-4/25/76
Youngest Starter: Michael Beasley-1/9/89

Top Free Agents:
Amar'e Stoudemire (ETO)
Dirk Nowitzki (ETO)
Chris Bosh (PO)
Carlos Boozer
Luis Scola (RFA)
Al Harrington
Udonis Haslem
Drew Gooden
Tyrus Thomas (RFA)

3 Young Players to Watch:
DeJuan Blair-SA-21 years old
Tyrus Thomas-CHR-23 years old
Tyler Hansbrough-IND-24 years old

Overall Synopsis: This is a power forward driven league. The days of a team building around a center are a thing of the past. Only Orlando, New York, Milwaukee, L.A. Clippers, New Jersey, Minnesota, and Chicago have a center that is substantially more productive than their power forward. Many of those centers (David Lee-NY, Al Jefferson-MIN, and Joakim Noah-ATL) would play power forward on other teams.

The great debate amongst basketball fans. Who is the best power forward in the NBA? Dirk, Amar'e and Bosh all put up similar numbers but i gave the slight edge to Amar'e this year because he got his team the furthest. Gasol is a star, Boozer is great and Zach Randolph is a 20 &10 guy who almost took the Grizzlies to the playoffs. Duncan and KG are still great defenders even as they get older.

However my favorite player on this list has to be Josh Smith. He is one of the most versatile players in the NBA today. He's an all-world defender, a great rebounder, good scorer and one of the best passing power forwards in the league.

The off-season could see major shifting of the top power forwards. Four of the top five power forwards are free agents and there is a good chance they all could leave their current teams. In addition there could be as many as 6 power forwards that could be lottery picks in this years draft. So almost half of the teams in the league could have a new starting power forward next year. This off-season should be very interesting.

Position Analysis: Small Forward
















Starters Rankings
  1. LeBron James-CLV....................................29.7ppg, 7.3rpg, 8.6apg, All-Defensive (1st), 76 games played/61 wins
  2. Kevin Durant-OKC.......................................30.1, 7.6- 82/50
  3. Carmelo Anthony-DEN................................28.2, 6.6, 3.2- 69/53
  4. Paul Pierce-BOS.........................................18.3, 4.4, 3.1- 71/50
  5. Gerald Wallace-CHR...................................18.2. 10.0, All-Defensive (1st)- 76/44
  6. Danny Granger-IND......................................24.1, 5.5- 62/32
  7. Rudy Gay-MEM............................................19.6, 5.9- 80/40
  8. Cory Maggette-GS......................................19.8, 5.3- 70/26
  9. Loul Deng-CHI.............................................17.6, 7.3- 70/41
  10. Wilson Chandler-NY....................................15.3, 5.4- 65/29
  11. Shawn Marion-DAL.....................................12.0, 6.4- 75/55
  12. Grant Hill-PHO..............................................11.3, 5.5- 81/54
  13. Ron Artest-LAL.............................................11.0, 4.3, 3.0- 77/57
  14. Richard Jefferson-SA...................................12.3, 4.4- 81/50
  15. Hedo Turkoglu-TOR......................................11.3, 4.6, 4.1- 74/40
  16. Thaddeus Young-PHL...................................13.8, 5.2- 97/27
  17. Tayshaun Prince-DET...................................13.5, 5.1, 3.3- 49/27
  18. Carlos Delfino-MIL.........................................11.0, 5.3- 75/46
  19. Mike Miller-WAS............................................10.9, 6.2, 3.9- 54/26
  20. Marvin Williams-ATL.....................................10., 5.1- 81/53
  21. Rasual Butler-LAC.........................................11.9, 2.9- 82/29
  22. Matt Barnes-ORL...........................................8.8, 5.5- 81/59
  23. Shane Battier-HOU........................................8.0, 4.7- 67/42
  24. Wesley Matthews-Utah..................................9.4, 2.3- 82/53
  25. Martell Webster-POR....................................9.4, 3.3- 82/50
  26. Quentin Richardson-MIA...............................8.9, 4.9- 76/47
  27. Ryan Gomes-MIN..........................................10.9, 4.6- 76/15
  28. Chris Douglas-Roberts-NJ............................9.8, 3.0- 67/12
  29. Donta Greene-SAC.......................................8.5, 3.1- 76/25
  30. Morris Peterson-NO.......................................7.1, 2.7- 46/37

Top 5 backups:
  1. Charlie Villanueva-DET.................................11.9, 4.7- 78/27-would rank around # 22
  2. Andrei Kirilenko-Utah....................................11.9, 4.6-58/53-would rank around #22
  3. Jared Dudley-PHO.........................................8.2, 3.4- 82/54-would rank around #26
  4. Omri Casspi-SAC..........................................10.3, 4.5- 77/25-would rank around #27
  5. Mickael Pietrus-ORL......................................8.7, 2.9- 75/59-would rank around # 27

Highest Paid Starter: Paul Pierce-19.8 million

Lowest Paid Starter: Wesley Matthews-457,588


Oldest Starter: Grant Hill-10/5/72
Youngest Starter: Kevin Durant-9/28/88


Top Free Agents:
LeBron James (PO)
Paul Pierce (ETO)
Rudy Gay (RFA)
Josh Childress (RFA)-ATL-currently playing in Europe

Wesley Matthews (RFA)

Mike Miller
Matt Barnes (PO)


3 Young Players to Watch:
Anthony Randolph-GS-20 years old
Nicolas Batum-POR-21 years old
Chase Budinger-HOU-22 years old

Overall Synopsis: Chances are, your team has a star player at either shooting guard or small forward. If you team doesn't then they could be in big trouble. If you look at the teams with the top 5 picks in this years draft, only Philly has a star on the wing in Andre Igoudala. The importance of having a versatile wing players who can score, defend, pass and rebound are paramount to success of any basketball team.

With LeBron, Melo and Durant, three of the biggest superstars in the NBA play the 3 spot. Paul Pierce is a great player and a winner. Gerald Wallace is the best defender and rebounder playing small forward. Danny Granger can score at will, but he needs more help in Indy. Cory Maggette, Rudy Gay and Wilson Chandler are very good players on average teams.

Many former stars turned veteran role players on good teams play small forward including Ron Artest, Shawn Marion, and Grant Hill. Richard Jefferson and Hedo Turkoglu had less than stellar years on their new teams.

This years draft has two long athletic small forwards in Wesley Matthews and Al-Farouq Aminu who are sure to become top 10 picks. Both should come in next year and become an instant factor.

Position Analysis: Shooting Guard




















Starters Rankings:
  1. Kobe Bryant-LAL.............................27.0ppg, 5.0apg, 5.4rpg, All-Defensive (1st)- 73 games played/57 wins
  2. Dwyane Wade-MIA..........................26.6, 6.5, 4.8, All-Defensive (2nd)-77/47
  3. Joe Johnson-ATL.............................21.3, 4.9, 4.6- 76/53
  4. Brandon Roy-POR...........................22.5, 4.7, 4.4- 65/50
  5. Monta Ellis-GS.................................25.5, 5.3, 4.0- 64/26
  6. Vince Carter-ORL............................16.6, 3.1, 3.9- 75/59
  7. Andre Igoudala-PHL........................17.1, 5.8, 6.5- 82/27
  8. Stephen Jackson-CHR....................20.6, 3.7, 5.0-81/2 teams, helped lead Charlotte to playoffs
  9. Caron Butler-DAL.............................16.3, 6.2rpg- 74/2 teams, helped lead Dallas to playoffs
  10. Ray Allen-BOS..................................16.3, 3.2rpg- 80/50
  11. Jason Richardson-PHO...................15.7, 5.1rpg- 76/54
  12. O.J. Mayo-MEM................................17.5, 3.0, 3.8- 82/40
  13. John Salmons-MIL............................15.4, 3.3rpg- 81/2 teams, helped lead Milwaukee to playoffs
  14. Eric Gordon-LAC..............................16.9, 3.0apg- 62/29
  15. Trevor Ariza-HOU..............................14.9, 3.8, 5.6- 72/42
  16. Rip Hamilton-DET.............................18.1, 4.4apg- 46/27
  17. Corey Brewer-MIN.............................13.0, 3.4rpg- 82/15
  18. Beno Udrih-SAC................................12.9, 4.7apg- 79/41
  19. Kirk Hinrich-CHI.................................10.9, 4.5, 3.5- 47/41
  20. Thabo Sefolosha-OKC......................6.0, 4.7rpg, All-Defensive (2nd)-82/50
  21. Courtney Lee-NJ................................12.5, 3.5rpg- 71/12
  22. Aaron Afflalo-DEN..............................8.8, 3.1rpg- 82/53
  23. Anthony Parker-CLV..........................7.3, 2.9rpg- 81/61
  24. Peja Stojakovic-NO...........................12.6, 3.7rpg- 62/37
  25. C.J. Miles-Utah....................................9.9, 2.7rpg-63/53
  26. Brandon Rush-IND..............................9.4, 4.2rpg-82/32
  27. DeMar DeRozan-TOR........................8.6, 3rpg- 77/40
  28. Nick Young-WAS.................................8.6- 74/26
  29. Toney Douglas-NY...............................8.6- 56/29
  30. Keith Bogans-SA.................................4.4- 79/50

Top 10 Backups:

  1. Manu Ginobili-SA.................................16.5, 4.9, 3.8- 75/50-would rank around #6
  2. Jamal Crawford-ATL...........................18.0, 3.0apg, won NBA's 6th man award- 79/53-would rank around #9
  3. Jason Terry-DAL..................................16.6, 3.8apg- 77/55-would rank around #13
  4. J.R. Smith-DEN....................................15.4, 3.1rpg- 75/53-would rank around #17
  5. Marcus Thorton-NO..............................14.5, 2.9rpg-73/37-would rank around #18
  6. Ben Gordon-DET..................................13.8ppg- 62/27-would rank around #19
  7. Anthony Morrow-GS..............................13.0, 3.8rpg- 69/26-Would rank around #19
  8. J.J. Reddick-ORL...................................9.6ppg- 82/59-would rank around #22
  9. James Harden-OKC...............................9.9, 3.2rpg- 76/50-would rank around #22
  10. Dahntay Jones-IND...............................10.2, 3.0rpg- 76/32-would rank around #25
NOTE: Obviously Manu Ginobili is a better/more important player than Keith Bogans. However since Bogans started 50 games and Manu started 21 games I put Bogans with the starters. For mid-season trades I always put the team the player ended with.

Notable players not on list due to injuries:
Kevin Martin-HOU
Michael Redd-MIL

Highest Paid Starter: Kobe Bryant-23.03 million
Lowest Paid Starter: Toney Douglas- 996,240

Oldest Starter: Anthony Parker-6/19/75
Youngest Starter: DeMar DeRozan-8/7/89

Top Free Agents:
Dwayne Wade (PO)
Joe Johnson
Ray Allen
John Salmons (PO)
J.J. Reddick (RFA)
Anthony Morrow (RFA)

3 Young Players to Watch:
Terrence Williams-NJ-22 years old
Ronnie Brewer-MEM-25 years old
Rudy Fernandez-POR-25 years old


Overall Synopsis: As you can see the disparity between the superstars and the bottom 25-30 is a big one. Kobe and DWade are in a class by themselves. Joe Johnson, Brandon Roy and Monta Ellis are just a notch below in production. Wade and Johnson are two of the top free agents this summer.

Several good veterans helped their new teams reach the playoffs including Vince Carter, Stephen Jackson, Caron Butler (who is really more of a SF), John Salmons and JRich (in his first full season with the Suns). Trevor Ariza came up just short of the playoffs in his first year in Houston.

Several players serve as lock down defenders on their opponents top wing. These players include Thabo Sefolosha, Aaron Afflalo, and Anthony Parker. Young 2 guards O.J. Mayo, Eric Gordon and Corwy Brewer continue to improve.

The most versatile player that no one talks about is Andre Igoudala. The 76ers have the 2nd pick and could draft Evan Turner making Igoudala a hot trade commodity. Kirk Hinrich could start at the point on many teams, he will also be a player that could be shipped this summer.

With many of the top backups in the league playing the 2 guard I decided to rank the top 10 backups. I feel that all of the top 10 back ups could be starting for at least 1/5th of the teams in the NBA. We will see if J.J. Reddick and Anthony Morrow sign somewhere else in hopes of becoming a starter.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Position Analysis: Point Guard




















Starters Rankings:

  1. Deron Williams-Utah...................18.7ppg,10.5apg- 78 games played /53 wins
  2. Steve Nash-PHO.........................16.5,11.0- 81/54
  3. Rajon Rondo-BOS.......................13.7, 9.8, All-Defensive (1st)- 81/50
  4. Chris Paul-NO..............................18.7, 10.7- 45/37
  5. Derrick Rose-CHI.........................20.8, 6.0- 78/41
  6. Chauncey Billups-DEN................19.5, 5.6- 73/53
  7. Russel Westbrook-OKC..............16.1, 8.0- 82/50
  8. Tyreke Evans-SAC.......................20.1, 5.8- 72/25
  9. Baron Davis-LAC.........................15.3, 8.0- 75/29
  10. Aaron Brooks-HOU......................19.6, 5.3- 82/42
  11. Tony Parker-SA............................16.0, 5.6- 56/50
  12. Jason Kidd-DAL...........................10.3, 9.1- 80/55
  13. Stephen Curry-GS........................17.5, 5.9- 80/26
  14. Brandon Jennings-MIL.................15.5, 5.7- 82/46
  15. Jameer Nelson-ORL....................12.6, 5.4- 65/59
  16. Devin Harris-NJ............................16.9, 6.6- 64/12
  17. Mo Williams-CLV.........................15.8, 5.3- 69/61
  18. Andre Miller-POR.........................14.0, 5.4- 82/50
  19. Ray Felton-CHR...........................12.1, 5.6- 80/44
  20. Rodney Stuckey-DET..................16.6, 4.8- 73/27
  21. Mike Conley-MEM.......................12.0, 5.3- 80/40
  22. Jonny Flynn-MIN...........................13.5, 4.4- 81/15
  23. Jarrett Jack-TOR..........................11.4, 5.0- 82/40
  24. Mike Bibby-ATL............................9.1, 3.9- 80/53
  25. Chris Duhon-NY............................7.4, 5.6- 67/29
  26. Earl Watson-IND...........................7.8, 5.1- 79/32
  27. Derek Fisher-LAL.........................7.5, 2.5- 82/57
  28. Randy Foye-WAS........................10.1, 3.3- 70/26
  29. Jrue Holiday-PHL.........................8.0, 3.8- 73/27
  30. Carlos Arroyo-MIA.......................6.1, 3.1- 72/47

Top 5 Backups:
  1. Darren Collison-NO.....................12.4, 5.7-76/37-would rank around #19
  2. George Hill-SA.............................12.4,2.9- 78/50-would rank around # 23
  3. Louis Williams-PHL.....................14.0, 4.2- 67/27-would rank around #23
  4. Jose Calderon-TOR.....................10.3, 5.9- 68/40-would rank around #24
  5. Luke Ridnour-MIL.........................10.4, 4.0- 82/46-would rank around #25

Notable players not on list due to injury/suspension:
Gilbert Arenas-WAS

Highest Paid Starter: Chris Paul and Deron Williams-13.52 million
Lowest Paid Starter: Carlos Arroyo-vet minimum-825,497


Oldest Starter: Jason Kidd-3/23/73

Youngest Starter: Jrue Holiday-6/12/90 (is the youngest player in the NBA)

Top Free Agents:
Ray Felton
Chris Duhon
Luke Ridnour

Earl Watson
Randy Foye (RFA)
Kyle Lowry (RFA)

3 Young Players to Watch:
Ricky Rubio-FC Barcelona-Minnesota has his rights. 19 years old
Goran Dragic-PHO-24 years old
Jarryd BaylesPOR-21 years old

Overall Synopsis: Point Guard is the most important position on the basketball court. Like a quarterback in football the point guard runs the team. A team with a great point guard always has a chance to go deep in the post season. It's no surprise that of my top 7 point guards, only Chris Paul did not lead his team to the playoffs. Paul was injured and missed 37 games this year.

Many of the top point men in the league are under the age of 26. These players include Deron Williams, Rajon Rondo, Chris Paul, Derrick Rose, Russell Westbrook and Aaron Brooks. Despite their age, many veterans had great seasons in 2010. Steve Nash (36) led the league in assists while Jason Kidd (37) and Chauncey Billups (33) made the all-star game this year. Andre Miller (34) help lead Portland to the playoffs in his first year there. Several rookies including Tyreke Evans, Stephen Curry and Brandon Jennings also had outstanding years.

John Wall is expected to be the top pick in the draft by the Washington Wizards (meaning free agent Randy Foye will likely be elsewhere in 2010-2011) but after Wall there are no point guards that are guaranteed to be first round picks. Playoff teams like the Heat, the Lakers and the Hawks could be looking for an upgrade at the point this off-season.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Why Would Amar'e Leave?



















I'm putting myself in the mind of Amar'e Stoudemire. I'm one of the best big men in the NBA. I'm still only 27 years old. I am entering my prime and I play on a team that is currently 2 wins away from a trip to the NBA Finals. Currently, I am preparing to for Game 5 tonight in L.A. against the defending champion Lakers. Life is good!


I also have an early termination option in my contract that could make me an unrestricted free agent this summer. I would be one of the most sought after free agents this summer along with LeBron, DWade, Chris Bosh and Dirk. I have a few options: 1) Become a free agent this summer, 2) Play out my final season and earn 17.6 million, 3) Sign an extension with the Suns this summer.

If I leave Phoenix, where would I go? New York has my old coach and runs an uptempo offensive system that I love. Miami is in my home state of Florida and has a star with DWade. Chicago and New Jersey have cap space but I don't know if they would be a good fit.

So what do I want in a team? Does my current team, the Phoenix Suns have everything I could possibly want?

Most importantly, I want to win.

1) A championship contender. Check

Phoenix has made the playoffs in all but 2 of my eight seasons there. The Heat and Bulls lost in the first round this year. The Nets and the Knicks didn't come close to making the playoffs. We haven't got to the finals yet but we are very close.

2) A great location. Check
Miami has some nice weather, but so does Phoenix. New York may have the Super Bowl in 2014, but it gets cold there. Plus the fans in Phoenix love me right now.

3) A good core of players. Mainly young players. Check

Steve Nash is 36, Grant Hill is 37, and our 3rd string center Jarron Collins is 31. Everyone else on the roster is under 30. In fact, I am the fifth oldest player on the roster at age 27. When the great Steve Nash and Grant Hill retire we have Goran Dragic and Jared Dudley waiting to replace them. Both Dragic and Dudley could be starting on most other teams right now. I've also got some good young bigs in Channing Frye and Robin Lopez to help me down low. If rookie Earl Clark can develop we should stay very competitive.


4) Money. Check
Oh by the way, my current team, the Phoenix Suns can pay me more money than any other team in the NBA.

I guess the choice seems pretty simple. I should make sure my Phoenix Suns re-sign free agent Channing Frye and give Jared Dudley an extension this summer. Then I should sign my own extension. I have no real reason to leave. Life is good in Phoenix for Amar'e Stoudemire.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Mock Draft 1.0-Two days after the lottery










1. WAS-John Wall-PG-Kentucky-Fr.

Easy decision. Wall is already the new face of the Wizards franchise even before being drafted. He could become one of the best point guards in the NBA within a few years. If Gilbert Arenas ever comes back, he’ll be able to move to his natural position of shooting guard. Wall and Arenas could be a great backcourt duo.

2. PHL-Evan Turner-G/F-Ohio St.-Jr.

The 76ers have many options here. If they keep the pick, Turner is the no brainer choice. He would fit perfect with Jrue Holiday and Andre Igoudala. The 76ers could then try to trade Willie Green or Louis Williams along with Elton Brand to unload his salary. Many teams in the lottery could move up to take Turner. The TWolves (#4, #16, #23) and Grizzlies (#12, #25, #28) have multiple picks and could use an upgrade on the wing. If the Jazz (#9) were to trade up and get Turner they would instantly become a title contender.

3. NJ-Derrick Favors-PF-Georgia Tech-Fr.

The Nets will either have Favors or Turner fall to them at number 3. Whoever it is, the Nets will get an impact stud to pair with 7 foot center Brook Lopez.

4. MIN-Wesley Johnson-SF-Syracuse-Jr.

I think Minnesota should try to move up to the number 2 spot to get Evan Turner. They still have Ricky Rubio’s rights along with the #16 and #23 picks to use as trade bait.

If they stay here Johnson is a great choice. Johnson is NBA ready and can come in and start at small forward from day one in Minnesota. He hits open shots and has great length for a small forward.

5. SAC-Demarcus Cousins-C-Kentucky-Fr.

Cousins has an NBA ready body and a developing skill set that could make him a star in a few years. Drafting Cousins means the Kings can move Jason Thompson back to power forward.

6. GS-Ekpe Udoh-PF-Baylor-Jr.

Udoh is an ultra athletic and active power forward that will thrive in the Warriors up tempo offense.

7. DET-Cole Adrich-C-Kansas-Jr.

The Pistons need a young center. Ben Wallace is 35 and Jason Maxiell is only 6-7. Aldrich could be their starter for the next 8 years.

8. LAC-Al-Farouq Aminu-SF-Wake Forest-So.

Their core is: Blake Griffin-PF, Eric Gordon-SG, Baron Davis-PG and Chris Kaman-C. They have enough cap space to sign LeBron, but it’s a long shot that they’ll actually land King James. They could sign a lesser small forward and have Aminu back up at both forward spots. Aminu’s greatest tool is his versatility.

9. Utah-Greg Monroe-PF-Georgetown-So.

Monroe has a great offensive skill set and a high basketball IQ. He looks like a Jerry Sloan type of player. Carlos Boozer is a free agent that is likely to leave. The Jazz need depth up front, Monroe makes perfect sense here.

10. IND-Hassan Whiteside-C-Marshall-Fr.

If Whiteside stayed in school he could have likely been a top 3 pick in 2011. He is a lot like Andrew Bynum at the same age. Like Bynum, I think a team takes a flyer on him with the number 10 pick. 7 footers with is athletic ability are hard to find. He should eventually be an upgrade over current Indiana center Roy Hibbert.

11. NO-Donatas Montejunas-F/C-Lithuania-INT.

He will provide depth, shooting, and length up front. Three things the Hornets lacked last season.

12. MEM-Patrick Patterson-PF-Kentucky-Jr.

Patterson will never be a superstar, but he could be a great role player who could back up current power forward Zach Randolph and eventually become his successor in a 2-4 years.

13. TOR-Ed Davis-PF-UNC-So.

The Chris Bosh era is likely over in Canada. I'm not big on Davis, but I still think someone will take him with a lottery pick. Davis has been compared by some to Bosh.

14. HOU-Daniel Orton-F/C-Kentucky-Fr.

That’s right a fourth Kentucky player taken with a lottery pick. Orton could play center if Yao is unable to return or could move over and play power forward with Yao. The Rockets have great guards and wings with Aaron Brooks, Kevin Martin, Trevor Ariza, and Shane Battier. They need a lot of help up front though.

15. MIL-Xavier Henry-F/G-Kansas-Fr.

Michael Redd’s career has been plagued with injuries since he signed that mega 90+ million dollar deal in 2005. John Salmons played great down the stretch, but he’s a free agent who will likely sign with a contender. Henry has a NBA ready frame at 6-6/220 and would be a solid fit alongside Brandon Jennings and Andrew Bogut.

16. MIN-Larry Sanders-C/F-VCU-Jr.

Assuming Minnesota takes a wing at #4, they should get some much needed lenth up front to compliment talented but undersized big men Al Jefferson and Kevin Love. Sanders is a great rebounder and has a developing offensive game.

17. CHI-James Anderson-SG-Oklahoma St.-Jr.

Anderson would fill a big need at shooting guard. Hinrich is more of a point guard. With Anderson, the Bulls could afford to ship Hinrich elsewhere. In addition, Anderson is a great shooter which will come in handy if the Bulls are able to land King James this summer.

18. MIA-Gordon Hayward-SF-Butler-So.

The draft will be on the back burner in Miami this off season. Priority number one is keeping Dwayne Wade in Miami. Hayward is a good shooter and would be a great compliment to Wade. He also has great athletic ability and is a very good rebounder for his size. Hayward could become everything that Dorrell Wright hasn’t been.

19. BOS-Damion James-SF-Texas-Sr.

In Rajon Rondo, Kendrick Perkins and Glenn Davis the Celtics have 3 great young players all 25 or under. Ray Allen and Paul Pierce are still great players, but they need some youth on the wings. James is not a true small forward but could be a great role player with his energy and hustle off the bench for Boston.

20. SA-Devin Ebanks-SF-West Virginia-So.

Devin Ebanks reminds me a lot of Marvin Williams. He has great length and is a good defender. Some thought he could have been a lottery pick had he come out last year. The Spurs need depth and youth on the wings. Ebanks fits the bill.

21. OKC-Soloman Alabi-C-FSU-So.

The Thunder should be active in trying to trade up into the top 10 to get a center for the future. Their targets being Cole Aldrich and Hassan Whiteside. If they can’t trade up, I think they’ll try to trade out of the first round with one of their two first round picks. If they can’t make a trade I think they’ll get a long defensive center such as Alabi or Sanders.

22. POR-Gani Lawal-PF-Georgia Tech-Jr.

The Blazers need depth up front. Greg Oden has been injured his entire career. Marcus Camby and Juwan Howard are a combined 73 years old.

23. MIN-Paul George-SF-Fresno St.-So.

George is the best player available and is oozing with potential. The TWolves need all the help that can get.

24. ATL-Willie Warren-CG-Oklahoma-So.

Going into the year, Warren was expected to be a top 5 pick. The Hawks could use a young guard as insurance if Joe Johnson leaves via free agency.

25. MEM-Dominique Jones-CG-USF-Jr.

Jones is a big strong guard who can come in a back up both Mike Conley and O.J. Mayo.

26. OKC-Stanley Robinson-SF-UConn-Sr.

The Thunder has scorers. They need rebounding and length, Robinson’s two best qualities.

27. NJ-Quincy Poindexter-SF-Washington-Sr.

Poindexter is the best player on the board and he can contribute right away.

28. MEM-Kelvin Seraphin-PF-France-INT.

With 3 picks in the first round, the Grizz are likely to take a Euro prospect and keep him overseas. If Seraphin keeps his name in the draft someone will pick him in the first round. He will need at least 2 more years to develop overseas.

29. ORL-Armon Johnson-PG-Nevada-Jr.

Big point guard who could replace Jason Williams as the backup to Jameer Nelson in O-Town. I think he's better and more NBA ready than both Eric Bledsoe and Avery Bradley.

30. WAS-Luke Babbit-SF-Nevada-So.

Babbit has a great offensive game yet lacks the quickness to guard most other small forwards and is too small to play power forward in the NBA. The Wizards will draft John Wall with the top pick. Wall can create at will, so the Wizards are going to need to surround him with shooters.

31. NJ-Eric Bledsoe- PG-Kentucky-Fr.

32. OKC-Jarvis Varnado-C/F-Mississippi St.-Sr.

33. SAC-Avery Bradley-SG-Texas-Fr.

34. WAS-Trevor Booker-PF-Clemson-Sr.

35. GS-Mikhail Torrance-CG-Alabama-Sr.

36. DET-Sherron Collins-PG-Kansas-Sr.

37. MIL-Craig Brackens-PF-Iowa St.-Jr.

38. NY-Elliot Williams-SG-Memphis-So.

39. NY-Matt Bouldin-CG-Gonzaga-Sr.

40. IND-Jordan Crawford-SG-Xavier-So.

41. MIA-Greivis Vasquez-CG-Maryland-Sr.

42. MIA-Jerome Jordan-C-Tulsa-Sr.

43. LAL-Art Parahkouski-C-Radford-Sr.

44. POR-Luke Harangody-PF-Notre Dame-Sr.

45. MIN-Lance Stephenson-SG-Cincinnati-Fr.

46. PHO-Jon Scheyer-CG-Duke-Sr.

47. MIL-Terrico White-CG-Ole Miss-So.

48. MIA-Dwayne Collins-PF-Miami-Sr.

49. SA-Brian Zoubek-C-Duke-Sr.

50. DAL-Nemanja Bjelica-SF-Serbia-INT.

51. OKC-Darrington Hobson-SF-New Mexico-Jr.

52. BOS-Da’Sean Butler-SF-West Virginia-Sr.

53. ATL-Dexter Pittman-C-Texas-Sr.

54. LAC-Jerome Randle-PG-California-Sr.

55. Utah-Vladimir Dasic-SF-Montenegro-INT.

56. MIN-Latavious Williams-PF-Tulsa 66ers-DLeague

57. IND-Alexey Shved-PG-Russia-INT.

58. LAL-Manny Harris-SG-Michigan-Jr.

59. ORL-A.J. Ogilvy-C-Vandy-Jr.

60. Denis Clemente-PG-Kansas St.-Sr.