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NBA Mock Draft
by Brett Berliner (NBA)
Posted on June 27, 2006, 1:31 PM

First Round
1. Raptors- LaMarcus Aldridge, PF/C, Texas
Not a perfect fit with what's there, but he's talented enough to give the Raptors one of the best 1-2 big men punches in the league. The addition of Rasho Nesterovic doesn't mean anything to this pick, it signifies that Villaneuva is probably on his way.

2. Bulls (From Knicks)- Tyrus Thomas, PF, LSU
This is a perfect fit. Thomas can provide interior defense, scoring and rebounding. I doubt he ever becomes a superstar, but he's a potential All-Star type performer that can help the Baby Bulls. Could grab Brandon Roy here if they're looking to upgrade the size in the backcourt.

3. Bobcats- Brandon Roy, SG, Washington
Roy is just another piece of the puzzle, and would help immensely in Charlotte. A starting 5 of Brezec, Okafor, Gerald Wallace, Roy and Felton is top notch.

4. Trailblazers- Adam Morrison, SF, Gonzaga
Morrison is a player with a great work ethic and leadership ability, something the Blazers really could use. He's already big in the Pacific Northwest and would help get rid of the 'Jail Blazers' image, until D Miles and Zach Randolph remind everyone again.

5. Hawks- Andrea Bargnani, PF, Benetton Treviso
Bargnani will be a nice fit in Atlanta. I know everyone is really high on him because they see him and think 'next Dirk', but does he have the desire to keep improving like Dirk does? We'll see. He'll be a nice fit in Atlanta, especially if they turn their glut of swingmen into Allen Iverson.

6. Timberwolves- Rudy Gay, SF, Connecticut
Gay likely has a game that's more suited to the NBA anyway, so ignore the fact he wasn't dominant at UConn despite his considerable physical gifts. He can step in and play already and hopefully keep Garnett from being too angry.

7. Celtics- Marcus Williams, PG, Connecticut
The standard comment around the league is that the C's, while happy with Tony Allen and Delonte West as players, are looking for a more traditional playmaker at PG. I think this is a smart idea - they have a lot of talent but often the guy to pull it together is a strong guard. Williams is a good player who can make some plays and steady this team. They'll ride him and Pierce to the playoffs.

8. Rockets- Shelden Williams, PF/C, Duke
I think this is a little high for Williams, who will probably never turn into a guy who scores much more than 9 or 10 PPG, but he provides great interior defense, toughness, leadership and is truly the definition of a big ugly. He's not going to develop into an athletic freak or an all-world performer, but he can play D better than anyone currently on the Rockets' roster, and can be a very solid third piece of the puzzle with Yao and McGrady.

9. Warriors- Patrick O'Bryant, C, Bradley
The Warriors are actually stacked at most positions. I think their biggest need is point guard, where I don't like Baron Davis at all. However, they seem committed to going forward with him as their point, so I think their frontcourt is where they'll look to add some help. Drafting a limited PF last year at 9th, I don't think they hit the same position again and reach a little for the best true center in the draft, O'Bryant. O'Bryant is o'k. That's all I can really say about him. Not a stud, but he could develop into one with a lot of hard work, which means surrounded by players like Baron Davis? He won't be.

10. SuperSonics- Rodney Carney, SG/SF, Memphis
Carney is a good fit in Seattle. He'll play tough defense and can either replace or complement Ray Allen.

11. Magic- Ronnie Brewer, PG/SG, Arkansas
Orlando is really weak at this point. Their future frontcourt looks fairly strong, with Darko and Dwight Howard holding it down, but they need major help at the 2 and 3. Brewer is a start. He can contribute immediately and step in and provide some size in the backcourt next to Jameer Nelson, although I feel his eventual position is the 3.

12. Hornets- J.J. Redick, SG, Duke
Ahh, J.J. A hotly debated prospect who some feel is the best in this draft, and some despise. He's started to slide a bit, due to his DUI and back problems, but he's definitely the best shooter in the draft, and a guy who can benefit from Chris Paul's penetration skills. Not a lot of better places for Redick to play.

13. 76ers- Randy Foye, SG, Villanova
I'm not a huge Foye fan as a draft prospect, but he's gutty, intelligent and would be a great fit next to Iverson. Of course, if the 76ers trade Iverson, it won't matter. I think he stays and they get him some immediate help.

14. Jazz- Saer Sene, C, RBC Verviers-Pepinster
Sene has really been climbing. I think he's okay - he's definitely athletic, aggressive and talented, but he's so raw that it's scary. He could develop into a Mutumbo type player, or even a Diop type player, but I see him taking too long. This is the type of player who gets coaches fired, but then the next coach reaps the benefits and that bothers me.

15. Hornets (From Bucks)- Hilton Armstrong PF/C, Connecticut
Armstrong is a guy with a lot of potential, but I'm not a real big fan of his. He never played with much urgency until this year, the year before he goes pro. He has all the skills, and although he's a little skinny, he should be fine. I just think he has a shot at being the type of guy who plays okay, then in a contract year, explodes, and I hate that type of guy. If he plays like he did at UConn his senior year, though, this is a steal.

16. Bulls- Thabo Sefolosha, SG/SF, Angelico Biella
A lot of people have this pick going down, enough that I have a pretty good feeling about it. Sefolosha is a good fit. The Bulls, at 2, should fill their frontcourt deficiencies, and here, they need to add size to their backcourt. I think Sefolosha, even though he's a 3, can play 2 and be the top backup to both Deng and Ben Gordon, providing 20-25 minutes a game even as a rookie. He's ready and he'll be a steal.

17. Pacers- Jordan Farmar, PG, UCLA
The Pacers' huge weakness is at the point, where Jamaal Tinsley never reached beyond his incredible potential to turn into a good player. Farmar is kind of the same player as Tinsley, not superbly athletic, but a guy capable of directing an offense. I think he got a first-round promise, otherwise he would have gone back, and I think it's here. If Redick falls, I expect his fall to stop here.

18. Wizards- Cedric Simmons, PF/C, NC State
Simmons is a really big steal here. I know he's limited in that he'll never be a PF with too much range, but offensively and defensively he's what Washington needs. He can step right in and stop the sieve that is the Wizard's defense, and play well for them. I really like this pick here, if he falls.

19. Kings- Maurice Ager, SG/SF, Michigan State
The Kings are pretty set at their starting positions, so I think they take BPA. I like Ager off the bench in Sac-town. I think he can play with both Bonzi (if he's back) and Artest, and although he's a 2-guard, he can give a few minutes a game backing up Bibby. Great scorer who can be an immediate sparkplug off the bench.

20. Knicks(From Nuggets)- Sergio Rodríguez, PG, Adecco Estudiantes
If Rodriguez is indeed there, the Knicks will be getting a great player. He's quick, talented and can lead a team. I question his defense, and he'll take some time, but he has all the potential in the world at PG. The Knicks may have two miscast PGs there now, but I think Sergio is the future.

21. Suns (From Lakers)- Oleksiy Pecherov, PF, Paris Basket Racing
I've heard a lot of rumors surrounding the Suns' picks, but I think they ought to keep them and draft some guys with real potential. They risk losing Barbosa and Diaw in the next offseason, and although I think they keep Boris, they need to bring in some players just in case. Pecherov is a good fit as a psuedo big-man in Phoenix's system. He needs time, but his offensive game can help them in the future.

22. Nets (From Clippers)- Kyle Lowry, PG, Villanova
The Nets' #1 priority (if it's not) should be to bring in a PG to backup Jason Kidd. They need frontcourt help, but this low, it's not coming unless they move up. Lowry provides a steady base beyond Kidd if he needs to sit.

23. Nets- Shawne Williams, SF/PF, Memphis
I think this is a matter of BPA. They could grab Josh Boone for some defensive frontcourt help, but it's a reach and Williams can help them fill the bucket. Good pick.

24. Grizzlies- Rajon Rondo, PG, Kentucky
User Comments: The Grizz need to get younger at the point, so, boom. Rondon will add some toughness to a fairly soft team.

25. Cavaliers- Shannon Brown, SG, Michigan State
One can only hope. Brown is not going to be a PG in the NBA, but he certainly can be a dynamite sixth man. Quick enough to guard the opposing 1, and long enough to cause problems for the other team's 2, Brown will be a stronger replacement for Flip Murray. He can't light it up like Murray can, just yet, but he should develop into a 10-12 ppg scorer off the bench. If he does, Cleveland will be ecstatic.

26. Lakers (From Heat)- Quincy Douby, PG/SG, Rutgers
Douby is probably as good a shooter as JJ Redick, but he's frail and lacks true PG skills. He should be able to succeed as a PG in the triangle, so I think the Lakers will be happy. Upgrade over Smush Parker immediately.

27. Suns- Dee Brown, PG, Illinois
The opposite of Pecherov, a tiny guard who can play and contribute immediately. I know it might be early, but I think a team will see what I see in Brown, and take him in the first.

28. Mavericks- Joel Freeland, PF, CB Gran Canaria
I see Dallas as a San Antonio type team, one who takes players in the team with an extreme eye to the future. Freeland isn't NBA ready and won't be for quite some time, but he's got unlimited upside and the Mavs don't need him right away.

29. Knicks (From Spurs)- Josh Boone, C, Connecticut
The Knicks' big problem right now is interior defense. No, it's actually management. But their interior defense is awful and Boone can play next to Channing Frye at times and help out on D. Just don't ask him to shoot.

30. Trailblazers (From Pistons)- James White, SG/SF, Cincinnati
James White to the Trailblazers? Perfect. Talented headcase with multiple arrests heads to Portland. Sounds like a Blazers' draft, doesn't it?



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