It's been a fairly unproductive week and I don't really have anything for the Weekend Small Talk so I thought I'd post up a Can Danny? post here. It's the 2007 Redux. If the draft was done again, would Greg Oden still be the #1 pick? Would he even be #2?
Where would his teammate Mike Conley end up? Where would the underwhelming Yi Jianlian land? And can Brandan Wright still get by on his promise of being a potential Chris Bosh-level player or has will his lack of playing time cause him to drop?
Also, which trades would go down? The Bobcats dealt their lotto pick for Jason Richardson. Ray Allen was dealt for the #5 pick. Would the Bobcats and Sonics (now OK City Thunder) still make those deal?
All this and more just a mouse click away.
1. Portland Trailblazers: Kevin Durant
He's gone from overlooked to mildly overhyped but he's still the obvious #1 pick in this draft.
2. Oklahoma City Thunder (aka Sonics): Al Horford
Honestly, the first option is to trade out of the spot. I wouldn't be stunned if the Bulls made the deal. Oden would be out all year so they'd still have a shot at Derrick Rose. But if I'm Oklahoma City and I know that I'm moving, I don't want an injury plagued Greg Oden ticking off my fans. It might be a huge regret but, honestly, I'm not all that convinced that Oden will ever be injury-free or much better than Horford.
3. Atlanta Hawks: Greg Oden
You have to do it. Even if you're the Hawks and you know your shot at the playoffs might be gone if you replace Horford with Oden, you still have to roll the dice on the big man.
4. Memphis Grizzlies: Rudy Fernandez
The Grizz can have an ad campaign: Swingmen. They go around trying to pick up women and get them to go to Grizz games. Fernandez wears some flamboyant shirts and a girl asks, "Are you gay?" and Rudy points to his teammante, "No he is." Rudy Gay looks over and flashes a big grin. OK, that probably wouldn't work in Tennessee but it would make me laugh. And a team with the Rudies would be a lot more interesting to watch then one with Mike Conley.
5. Oklahoma City Thunder (aka Sonics): Thaddeus Young
Honestly, I think a Thad/Horford duo is on par with Durant/Green. And if they can still add Russell Westbrook (and I can't see the Thad/Horford duo adding many more wins in the 2008 season), the Thunder would still be sitting pretty with a solid young core.
6. Milwaukee Bucks: Brandan Wright
Wright's been banged up and stuck in Don Nelson's ridiculous system but I still have faith in him and think he could be a potential All-Star. He's fill in the PF spot alongside Andrew Bogut.
7. Minnesota Timberwolves: Jeff Green
And you know what, don't trade Kevin Garnett. Yes, as a Celtics fan, it pains me to type that but it should be easier to either deal this pick for a veteran or make some sort of other moves to build around KG. If things don't work out, deal him at mid-season for Al Jefferson but at least give it one last go with The Kid before sending him out of town.
8. Charlotte Bobcats: Spencer Hawes
I know watching the Bobcats make a run at the playoffs is fun and all but if the 'Cats could do it all again, they'd be better served saving their cap space for someone better than Jason Richardson and adding the young Hawes alongside Emeka Okafor. If they wanted to make a splash, they should have offered big money to Vince Carter. Luring him would probably bring in more fans and the team would actually win a few games.
9. Chicago Bulls: Marc Gasol
The first thing the Bulls would do is fire Paxson and Skiles. The Skiles firing would seem odd since the team did well but hindsight is 20/20 and he lost this team. You also dump Paxson and use Gordon and Deng as trade fodder. If you can't deal the pick, the best choice is probably Gasol. Yes, it's a little high for him but he fits the Bulls' biggest need, a scoring center in the post. The new Bulls GM should also make another play for Pau Gasol. The Bulls could then advertise The Azules Brothers.
10. Sacramento Kings: Rodney Stuckey
A tough choice between Mike Conley Jr. and Stuckey but I think I go with Stuckey and really cement the defensive mindset of the Kings. A backcourt of Stuckey, Salmons, and Artest would be a pretty rigid defense. Granted, the frontcourt is still basically vacant but I'd rather have Stuckey then the available bigs.
11. Atlanta Hawks: Mike Conley Jr.
The Hawks add the point guard they'd been missing for years while also landing Greg Oden's teammate. Conley's transition to the NBA might also be a little easier on a more talented team. He hasn't had much to work with in Memphis and the growing pains might not be so bad with Joe Johnson, Josh Smith, Marvin Williams, and Josh Childress running alongside him.
12. Philadelphia 76ers: Al Thornton
Thornton's had a pretty terrible sophomore year as he's turned into a Clipper, playing selfishly and not really improving. But since he seems a little more able to handle minutes at the PF spot, I think the Sixers go with him over someone like Wilson Chandler.
13. New Orleans Hornets: Wilson Chandler
Chandler would be a great fit running with Chris Paul and David West. I haven't given up on Julian Wright completely but Chandler is one of the most improved players in the league while Wright is barely even in the league at all.
14. Los Angeles Clippers: Yi Jianlian
Yi's transition is made a little easier by landing in L.A. but he'd be thrown into the fire right away since Elton Brand goes down before the start of the season. He's worth the risk though as he's someone that would get people out to the Clippers games and might work well alongside Chris Kaman.
15. Detroit Pistons: Aaron Brooks
Brooks could be the new Microwave for the stagnant Pistons. His up-tempo style might actually wake up some of his teammates. It's a longshot but with Stuckey off of the board, he's probably the best fit for Motown.
16. Washington Wizards: Ramon Sessions
Sessions would take over for the always-hobbled Hibachi and might serve as a steady point guard alongside Antonio Daniels, Caron Butler, and Antawn Jamison.
17. New Jersey Nets: Jason Smith
Smith could have been great at the PF spot for the Kidd-led Nets. Would it have saved the season? Probably not since Kidd seemed like he wanted out before the first tip-off but he'd be a nice fit and, before his knee injury, was a better version of Ryan Anderson, who is doing quite well for himself in NJ right now.
18. Golden State Warriors: Julian Wright
Wright fits with Nellie's uptempo style and even though I think Carl Landry might be more what the team needs, I doubt he'd get much playing time in the shoot first, let reporters ask the questions philosophy of the Warriors.
19. Los Angeles Lakers: Corey Brewer
The triangle offense might actually save Brewer's NBA career. He could stand around and pop open shots and focus on defense. He's also replace Trevor Ariza who Orlando likely wouldn't give up in that ill-fated Cook/Evans for Ariza trade.
20. Miami Heat: Acie Law
Law gives them a backup point guard who would probably end up starting due to all of the injuries the Heat had in 2007. He's a solid enough players and probably would do just fine alongside Dwyane Wade in the future.
21: Philadelphia 76ers: Marco Bellineli
Maybe Marco would be the guy to finally get the Sixers to kick their Willie Green habit? He's be a great shooter off of the bench and he and Lou Williams would give the Sixers a high scoring 2nd unit backcourt.
22. Charlotte Bobcats: Daequan Cook
The Bobcats could use a sharpshooter to feed off of Okafor, Hawes, and Felton. Cook fits the bill.
23. New York Knicks: Joakim Noah
Honestly, this is probably too far for Noah to fall. He really isn't all that bad as much as he's just really annoying but he's a New Yorker and it seems fitting that he ends up on the Knicks. It's also fitting because the Bulls took him with the pick the Knicks gave them in the Eddy Curry deal so now everything has come full circle.
24. Portland Trailblazers (via Phoenix): Carl Landry
The Suns were cheap in 2007 and I doubt the recession is going to change Robert Sarver's mind about keeping this pick. They once again sell it to the Blazers, who add Landry to team with Kevin Durant, Brandon Roy, and LaMarcus Aldridge.
25. Utah Jazz: Javaris Crittenton
Crittenton has been one of the most disappointing players in this draft IMO but he could fit in as a solid shooting guard/backup point guard in Utah. I don't know what the deal is with him. He never gets a chance to play and it's not like he's been sitting behind a bunch of All-Stars. Still, I can't imagine Nick Young surviving on a Jerry Sloan coached team. Aaron Afflalo is an option but I'm going to stick with Crittenton's upside.
26. Houston Rockets: Aaron Afflalo
Doesn't exactly fit the shooting needs of the Rox but he's another solid role player who plays hard-nosed defense. He won't make up for T-Mac's scoring but he won't try to either (unlike Nick Young).
27. Detroit Pistons: Aaron Gray
The Pistons have Amir Johnson so they don't really need Jared Dudley. They go with Aaron Gray to give them some size in the middle.
28. San Antonio Spurs: Petteri Koponen
The Spurs add the young foreign PG to their stable of overseas assets. I like what I saw from Kopponen in the summer league and think he could be a solid backup; he has the size to handle the 2-guard spot which means he can play alongside Parker or run the point with Manu at the two.
29. Phoenix Suns: Tiago Splitter
The Suns don't want to spend money so they grab the foreigner Splitter, who they can keep overseas for a few years.
30. Philadelphia 76ers: Big Baby Davis
Davis serves as a solid backup/complement to Al Thornton. Sean Williams, Jared Dudley, and Nick Young are possibilities but Wiliams/Thornton/Dalembert migh be too much attitude for one frontcourt and there's no need to draft Young and Bellineli.
At the 32nd pick, the Celtics likely end up with Sean Williams. He's a bit of a head case but he gives them another defensive big man off of the bench and gives the C's a young big man rotation of: Big Al Jefferson, Kendrick Perkins, Leon Powe, and Williams.