“I knew of General Manager’s who were scared to death of getting the first pick in the lottery.”
These are the words of a mentor of mine named Ed Gregory, a former long time NBA Executive and Head Coach, when we were discussing the frame of mind of some NBA front office personnel as Draft day approached during his tenure as an NBA executive. Ed Gregory, with his keen eye for talent drafted the likes of Mark Price, Ron Harper, and Brad Daugherty while scouting for the Cleveland Cavaliers. Gregory , while employed with the Golden State Warriors, drafted Mitch Richmond, Latrell Sprewell, Tyrone Hill, and Tim Hardaway. Gregory further advises when making decisions for talent selections, “Be yourself trusting yourself.” Those words of wisdom from a scouting elite like Ed Gregory typifies the gist of the HoopsAddict.com Mock Draft that has had overwhelming hits from all points of the globe. We are true to ourselves. The purpose of our Mock Draft is not to match make with the minds of various NBA General Manager’s, which in a few words is playing psychic. No, our perspective is to analyze the talent pool, coaching styles, systems, potential rosters, and geographical locations of each NBA team and format a draft eligible player that would mesh with the team in that Draft position. The response and influence of our Mock draft is appreciated since our angle is true to ourselves. We seek not to be in agreement or consortium with other Mock Drafts yet respectfully our view will jive with others like the Oden number 1, Durant number 2, universal guarantee.
That being written, the final Mock will roll out on June 26, 2007 and I’m taking the time to share this due to the plethora of e-mails I have received on when the final Mock will drop and for those readers who keep the previous Mock drafts I’ve written as a top post on our website and web host. Much obliged. In between time and in the mean time, look for several hot interviews to post on HoopsAddict.com. The interviews with prominent players from all spectrums of the basketball Diasporas will plunge in the coming days.
Pre-Draft Camp Data
One of the most interesting tidbits of the Draft camp was Kevin Durant’s poor performance regarding the strength and agility test facet of the combine. Durant ranked 78th out of 78 players with his combined scores and ranked low in lateral quickness – something I alluded to in the Kevin Durant profile regarding his defensive carriage. No, our eyes were not deceiving us as Kevin Durant, the reigning undisputed College Player of the Year can indeed hoop at a haughty rung. The Kevin Durant profile also documented how Durant’s success is predicated on his ingenious use of finesse. The true quintessence of basketball is the finesse game and a 6’10” basketball swan like Durant can aesthetically execute the game’s beauty when roaming the court unfettered. The Big 12 conference last season was a finesse/up-tempo league last season and Durant from Maryland elected not to play locally for highly physical backyard conferences like the Big East and ACC since Texas Coach Rick Barnes promised Durant he’d let the hoop prodigy “get off” offensively and unabatedly from the perimeter. Yet the NBA is a bodybuilder’s league where strength and stamina are bedrocks for success in the Association. In other words, potency matters. Durant’s documented inability to bench press 185 pounds once which is approximately 30 pounds less than his body weight is telling in a variety of ways. First, from my disposition someone like KD, who has 7 foot 6 inch wingspan, has to bring the bar a lot further than say someone with a 6 foot 6 inch wingspan. Despite this fact, since NBA players from guards to post players pound the iron with regularity, the prowess factor weighs heavily on NBA Coach’s and strength and conditioning coach’s mind. That simply is the NBA way. I can recall several years ago after the Seattle Supersonics eliminated the Sacramento Kings in the first round of the playoffs King’s guard Mike Bibby was at Gold’s Gym the next morning pounding the weights. The view is that if a 185-pound player bodies up on Durant he won’t be able to shake free physically since he can’t press the weight is a whimsical ideology. Albeit Durant, who has wrapped up various endorsement deals has been on a whirlwind “get money” tour and has not had the time for complete gym/physical dedication so necessary for achievement in the NBA. The view here … no worries. Durant will use the combine scores as fuel and already recognizes there is much work to be done. Word on the block is Durant is embarrassed with his assessment yet his self-confidence is unshaken. Durant knows he can flat out ball and ascertains the next advancement will come with dedication in reframing his physiology. There is a profusion of basketball players that look like Tarzan and hoop like Jane. Kevin Durant is a bonafide round ball element and will use that 78 out of 78 score as fuel. Rest assured.
Finally, our Mock Draft has been high from the very beginning on Morris Almond of Rice. DraftExpress.com had an interesting feature on shooting guards where Almond after a thorough statistical analysis the top shooting guard coming out of College Ball. Check out the D X link here.
Our last Mock (5-23-07) was also high on Colorado State’s Jason Smith, listing Smith as a potential 10th pick with Sacramento. Chad Ford, a longtime NBA insider for ESPN, recently substantiated this possibility. Check it out here.
Thanks for reading and we’ve only yet begun. Peace.