It is time for our final edition of Around the Mock Drafts. Only 2 days till the draft and it appears that things are still up in the air. To add to the uncertainty, trade rumors are swirling fast and furious which will further change the draft landscape. Here is the latest from the mock drafts around the web.
Draft Express has the Celtics taking Jeff Green at 5 with Atlanta taking Horford and the Grizzlies going with Conley. In the second round, they have the Celtics taking Kyrylo Fesenko, a 7'1" center from the Ukraine.
SI.com has the Celtics taking Corey Brewer with the Hawks taking Horford and the Grizzlies going with Noah. Here is what they have to say about the pick: "This pick is much more likely to be traded than retained, but it makes sense to keep Brewer in this spot because he is attractive to so many teams. Celtics director of basketball operations Danny Ainge understands offense, and if he keeps his pick, he's unlikely to pass up a player with Brewer's expansive offensive repertoire and vast scoring potential."
On his mock draft, Chad Ford has gone back to the Celtics taking Yi Jianlian and has the Hawks taking Horford and the Grizzlies taking Conley. Here is what Chad has to say about the pick: "The skinny: I think this is where the draft gets really interesting. It appears that Danny Ainge is trying to decide between Yi Jianlian and Jeff Green. But I still think the odds are in favor of Ainge's trading the pick in an attempt to pick up a veteran. I had Yi at the No. 5 spot for a month, then I backed off in Mock Draft Version 4.0. Now I have him back here again. At the end of the day, most GMs say they take the best player available, regardless of need. In this case, Yi would be the highest-rated player remaining and he would fill a need, so I think Ainge swallows hard and pulls the trigger."
The Sporting News puts Green in Boston, Horford in Atlanta and Conley in Memphis. Here is their reasoning behind the pick: "Needs: PG, C. With Sebastian Telfair having screwed up his chance in Boston (we think), the Celtics are left with Rajon Rondo and Delonte West at point guard, and neither is really a point guard. They have Paul Pierce at shooting guard, and Al Jefferson had a breakthrough year at power forward. A center would be nice -- turns out Theo Ratliff and Michael Olowokandi weren't the answer -- but the Celtics will be looking for trades this summer and need to simply stockpile talent. The Pick: Jeff Green, SF, Georgetown. We're still on the watch for a possible draft-day deal involving this pick, but if Boston does hold it, the smart money is on Green. They will consider Brandan Wright, but Jefferson is the future at power forward. Green can be a sort of point-forward from the 3 spot, which might make a nice tandem with Pierce."
CBS Sportsline has Brewer going to Boston, Horford going to Atlanta and Conley going to Memphis. Here is their reasoning behind the pick: "Danny Ainge wants to force the action to land a veteran who can play wingman to Paul Pierce. Already the Timberwolves were tempted to trade Kevin Garnett to Beantown, but Garnett vetoed that deal. If Ainge can't find a match -- Phoenix and Shawn Marion was a rumor -- he'll keep the pick and go "safe" with Brewer over Yi Jianlian."
Inside Hoops has the Celtics taking Joakim Noah with the 5th pick, Atlanta taking Horford, and Memphis taking Conley.
Fox Sports puts Green in Boston, B Wright in Atlanta and Horford in Memphis. Here is their reasoning on the pick: "Green is extremely versatile and measured well down at the Orlando pre-draft camp. We feel it will come down to Green or Corey Brewer and while Brewer may be the better defender, Green is able to make his teammates better and is also a more adept scorer. He would be a nice complement to Paul Pierce and Al Jefferson."
Pro Basketball News has Boston taking Noah, while Atlanta takes Horford and Memphis takes Conley.
RealGM's mock has the Celtics taking B Wright while the Hawks take Conley and the Grizzlies take Horford. Here is their reasoning: "Wright has been very impressive in his workouts and remains the unquestioned third best player in this draft in my estimation, as well as several college coaches that I\'ve talked to. No matter if the Celtics are trying to win now or win in the future, Wright will have the biggest impact on making the franchise a winner again. Wright, Al Jefferson and Paul Pierce may not exactly be Bird, McHale and Parish, but it is a frontline that will be amongst the best two or three in the entire NBA."
MSNBC has the Celtics taking B Wright while the Hawks take Horford and the Grizzlies take Conley. Here is their blurb: "Milwaukee would want him to pair with Andrew Bogut, but the next best player available on the board, Corey Brewer, doesn’t fit with Boston, so the Celtics claim Wright and look to trade for a veteran to go with their young talent."
NBC Sports has Boston taking B Wright, Atlanta taking Yi, and Memphis taking Horford. Here is their reasoning: "The skinny: The draft won't be the happiest time for Celtics fans, who were hoping a season of losing would net them a shot at either Oden or Durant. Rampant speculation has the Celtics looking to deal this pick as an answer to Paul Pierce's cry for immediate help, but assuming they stay put, the athletic Wright would be a nice complement to the more grounded Al Jefferson in the paint. Danny Ainge could also opt for Corey Brewer, a move which could have implications on both Pierce's and Gerald Green's futures in Boston."
Fanball has the Celtics taking Yi, while Atlanta takes Conley and Memphis takes Horford. Here is what they had to say about the pick: "Brandan Wright or Jeff Green here wouldn't be a surprise, but the Celtics have a glut of players at the position. Boston could be a bit hesitant because Jianlian hasn't worked out against other NBA talent, so we also wouldn't be surprised to see the Celtics trade this pick."
The Great Bloggers Mock has the Celtics taking Yi. Atlanta takes Horford and Memphis takes B Wright. Here is what Jeff had to say about the pick. "Danny Ainge will be trading for immediate help so he can afford to take the best talent available. Danny thinks Yi is the best talent available."
Hoopsworld has us taking 3 different players on their mock. 3 of the writers say we take Brewer, one says we take Green and the last one says we take Yi.
Ramblings from the Many Minds of Chris puts Green in Boston, Horford in Atlanta and Conley in Memphis. Here is what they have to say about the pick: "Just the player that the Celtics shouldn’t go for. We already have a jack-of-all-trades-and-master-of-none. His name is Ryan Gomes. I still think that either of the remaining Floridians would be the best pick here, but from every indication, the whoever is picked in this slot won’t be wearing green. The best trade scenario I’ve heard for the C’s and this pick would be to trade #5 and #32 to Charlotte for #8 and #22."
Stupid Sideline Reporters has a very different mock from most. They have the Celtics taking Horford, the Hawks taking Wright and the Grizzlies taking Green. Here is his reasoning for the Celtics pick: "Al Horford from Florida. Horford is a strong rebounder, but needs to improve on his free throws. Danny Ainge finds a way not to screw this draft up."
Immaterial Sports News puts Green in Boston, Horford in Atlanta and Conley in Memphis. Here is their blurb: "This is by far the toughest pick to project. Danny Ainge just doesn’t want to drop any hints at all. At first I heard that the Celtics were high on Yi. Then later I hear they aren’t so impressed. I have to switch this up to Green although Yi may still go here. I also heard that the Dallas Mavericks are looking to move into the top 10 to possibly take Noah. I believe Boston will likely trade this pick and if the Mavs offer them something good…they’ll jump all over it! I’ve also read that the Celtics/Wolves trade talks have not died down at all. Look for the Celtics to likely trade this pick. If they stay though, Green is the man."
Celtics Nation has Noah coming to Boston while Wright goes to Atlanta and Horford goes to Memphis. Here is their reasoning for the pick: "If Danny Ainge ultimately decides to keep this pick, he would be wise to pass on players such as Mike Conley Jr., Corey Brewer, and Yi Jianlian. Each is intriguing, and a case can be made for selecting any of them with this pick. Conley is gong to be a great point guard, but Boston appears committed to Rajon Rondo and Delonte West. Brewer defends at an NBA level, but the Celtics are flooded with wing players. Jianlian is an Ainge favorite, but Al Jefferson is the lock at power forward. There are also plenty of detractors when it comes to Noah - his offensive game is limited, and his body doesn't appear equipped to bang with the NBA's big boys. Besides, he plays power forward, Jefferson's position. So, why take Noah? The Celtics would be getting last season's Number 1 overall selection, which is where Noah would have been taken had he come out following his 2006 season at Florida. Boston needs a mature player on a young team, and Noah is definitely mature for his age. But those are just for starters. Noah is smart, unselfish, and passionate. He would provide the Celtics with an infectious spark, one that could carry over to the rest of the team. Those intangibles aside, Noah is hardly an unskilled banger with little or no upside. He is long, he runs the court extremely well, and he knows how to succeed on the basketball court. He'll add the requisite 20 pounds of muscle, just like some of the other guys coming out. But bottom line, Noah has the heart and head to be truly special in this league. You can't say that about Brandon Wright, but you can bank on it with Joakim Noah. He will play hard. He will find a way to win. He should have been the Number 1 selection in the 2006 NBA Draft, but he opted to return to college and help his teammates repeat as national champions. And it was his decision that affected the rest of his teammates. He was the unquestioned leader of that 2006 championship team. He proved his leadership mettle by coming back, accepting a slightly reduced role in Florida's offense and helping the Gators repeat as national champs. Noah is the pick at Number 5, should Ainge decide to keep it. If so, we'll be thanking him for years to come."
Ryen Russillo's Big Board has the Celtics taking Jeff Green with the Hawks taking Conley, while the Grizzlies take Horford. Here is his reasoning: "This pick is still very much for sale but if there is nothing out there that makes sense through a trade Green would provide help sooner than Yi Jianlian. Green is as well rounded a player as there is in this draft and his measurements give him an edge over the other small forwards. If Chris Wallace, the current Celtics GM, does land the job as the man in charge of the Memphis Grizzlies you would have to think that gives the Celtics some advantage as to how things are going to break at pick #5. Horford is more of a possibility as the draft nears, and if that is the case Boston should hold onto the pick."
BBallWorld has the Celtics taking Yi with the 5th pick, the Hawks taking Horford at 3 and the Grizzlies taking B Wright with the 4th pick.
MVN is the second mock to put Horford in Boston with the 5th pick. Yi goes to Atlanta at 3 and Conley goes to Memphis with the 4th pick.
2 days before the draft and everyone is as clueless as they were right after the lottery. There are still 6 different players being projected to go at 5. 8 mocks have us taking Green, 6 mocks say we take Brewer, 4 say we take Noah, 6 mocks put Yi in Boston, 3 mocks have B Wright as our pick, and 2 mocks say we take Horford. 3 mocks have the 2nd round and there are 3 different players projected to go there: Kyrylo Fesenko, Petteri Koponen, and Marcus Williams. They still don't even agree on whether Oden or Durant will go first. All but 2 mocks have Horford off the board before we pick at 5, and most agree that our pick is the most likely to be traded away. Just 2 more days... [Discuss this topic on the Celtics Green Forums!]
Ths only really puzzling statement in all of this is from the Sporting News who says Rondo is not really a point guard.
He's certainly not a shooting guard. What do they think he is, a center?