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2007 NBA Draft Winners and Losers By The Grade
By Clayton Ruley
 

Grade A


Portland Trailblazers - With number one overall they grabbed a true back to the basket center in the 7-0 Greg Oden (Ohio State). Then proceeded to draft a talented 6-10 forward in Josh McRoberts (Duke), champion college point guard in Florida's 6-0 Taurean Green (Son of fomer NBAer Sidney) and 6-7 Demetris Nichols (Syracuse) all in the second round. Spain's 6-5 Rudy Fernandez will be good player (with potential for greatness) for years to come when he comes over and Petteri Koponen will likely say overseas this season for some further seasoning.

Seattle Supersonics
- The Sonics have their two and three for the future in 6-10 Kevin Durant and 6-10 Jeff Green (Georgetown) and also got bench help with 6-9 Carl Landry out of Purdue.

Detroit Pistons - For only having two picks the Pistons got a player many believe will contribute immediately in 6-5 Rodney Stuckey (Eastern Washington) and winner in Arron Affailo (UCLA) and a decent prospect in 6-6 Sammy Mejia (DePaul).

San Antonio Spurs - The Spurs do what they do and stockpiled on the foreign talent while they continue to win titles. This year they grabbed the 6-11 Tiago Splitter (Brazil), the 6-8 Giorgos Printezis (Greece) and also grabbed American 6-7 Marcus Williams (Arizona) who
can learn from Michael Finley and Brent Barry while he rides the pine.

Utah Jazz - The Jazz grabbed who many believe is the best shooter in the draft in Morris Almond (Rice) and traded for Kyrylo Fesenko, a 7-0 PF/C from the Ukraine. The team hopes Almond can come in a eventually
start along side super point guard Daron Williams and Fesenko can help Mehmet Okur in the middle.

Charlotte Bobcats - This team is trying to re-sign Gerald Wallace but if it doesn't it took a bold step in acquiring Jason Richardson for Golden State for the pick that was Brandan Wright and Jamareo Davidson. A team that has a host of big men and no true identity yet can afford this move. 6-7 Jared Dudley (Boston College) will be a nice
pick up too!

Grade B


Philadelphia 76ers - The Sixers fooled most draft experts by drafting the younger, higher upside player in 6-7 Thaddeus Young (Georgia Tech) at number 12. They then got 7-0 Jason Smith out of the MWC (Colorado
State) after flopping picks with Miami. They ended the draft with a second rounder many believed would go in the top 25 in Derrick Byers (Vanderbilt) and 6-10 PF Herbert Hill (Providence) who some compare to former Piston John Salley. While the team didn't pick sexy picks like Julian Wright and Al Thornton both are older and this team isn't competing for a title in the next two years so lets just grab the player that was top three in many publications coming out of high school last year next to names like Greg Oden and Kevin Durant. Byers
will be a nice contributor and may replace Willie Green.

Golden State Warriors - The team just continued to stock pile bodies for their uptempo style and will filling the pieces with KG-esque 6-10 Brandan Wright (North Carolina) the exciting 6-5 Marco Belinelli (Spain) and hard working 6-8 Stephane Lasme (Umass)

Atlanta Hawks - Once again added talented players in the same position. PF Al Horford (Florida) is a solid stud and Acie Law IV (Texas A&M) can be thier best point since Doc Rivers.

Washington Wizards - Nick Young (USC) will help one of the leagues' highest scoring teams keep scoring and will spell Caron Butler and Gilbert Arenas a bit. Dominic McGuire at 6-8 is an interest prospect out of Fresno State also. This team lost a lot headed into the 2007
playoffs so buildin depth is a must in the future.

Minnesota Timberwolves - Corey Brewer (Florida) is a 6-8 wingman that can drop 19 points and will be on All-NBA defensive teams for years and Chris Richard (Florida) will be used for size off the bench. Now if they can only keep that Kevin Garnett guy!

Los Angeles Clippers - Grabbed Corey Maggette's replacement in 6-8 Al Thornton (Florida State) (if they do decide to trade him) and grabbed a point in 6-2 Jared Jordan (Marist). After Shawn Livingston went down
with a bad knee injury a replacement at the point was needed and despite playing against questionable competition, Jordan seems to have the talent to stick.

New Jersey Nets - Only had one pick but spent it on the talented but troubled 6-10 PF/C Sean Williams (Boston College) who could have been a lottery pick if he didn't get into off the court troubles before last season. This team needs more inside players and especially shot blockers so this will help.

Milwaukee Bucks - This really could be a C because we don't know if Yi Jianlian is even going to sign with the Bucks but if he did it was a great signing. The 7-0 forward from China is compared to Dirk Nowitzki and the Bucks didn't want to pass up on that type of player twice! In the second round they grabbed 6-3 Ramon Sessions (Nevada) and he could compete for some time at the point if the team decides to not re-sign Maurice Williams.

Sacramento Kings
Picked up 7-0 Spencer Hawes (Washington) in the first round and he's gonna replace Brad Miller in the near future.


Grade C


Chicago Bulls - Got a solid player in 6-11 Joakim Noah (Florida) with their first pick but was it worth the lottery pick? Aaron Gray (Pittsburgh) could give 10 minutes off the bench at center and JameSon Curry (Oklahoma State) is a 6-3 shooter on a team with a great one already (Ben Gordon) Maybe General Manager John Paxson is still hoping for the Kevin Garnett trade to drop.

Memphis Grizzlies - Mike Conley, Jr (Ohio State) will be a very good point but did he have to be had in the top five? What does that pick mean to your 2006 first rounder Kyle Lowry? I believe the team could have gotten more value for this pick.

Golden State Warriors - The team just continued to stock pile bodies for their uptempo style and will filling the pieces with KG-esque 6-10 Brandan Wright (North Carolina) the exciting 6-5 Marco Belinelli (Spain) and hard working 6-8 Stephane Lasme (Umass)

Phoenix Suns
- This team simply added the 6-5 Alando Tucker (Wisconsin) a seasoned college veteran who many think will only have a backup's career (at best) in the NBA. He could be a decent contributor or a total bust who will be out the league in 3 years. I lean toward the first one.

New York Knicks - The big move made for the Knicks was getting rid of Steve Francis's contract and obtaining power forward Zach Randolph to pair with center Eddy Curry. 6-8 Wilson Chandler (DePaul) was a nice late first round pick up and Isiah continues to get rid of the
overpaid malcontents on the team.

Dallas Mavericks
- 6-7 Reyshawn Terry from North Carolina will add toughness to Dallas's bench and the team also added 6-11 Nick Fazekas (Nevada) for his shooting. Lastly 6-6 Renaldas Seibutis (Lithuania) will probably sit overseas.

Boston Celtics
- Got rid of Wally Szczerbiak's whopping contract and got one of the games all-time great shooters and good guys in 32 year old Ray Allen to pair with Paul Pierce but gave up the number five pick (Jeff Green) to Seattle to do it. Gabe Pruitt (USC) could possibly replace the also traded Delonte West in the rotation eventually and Glen "Big Baby" Davis (LSU)is a prospect with talent but a lot of questions.

New Orleans Hornets - 6-8 Julian Wright from Kansas will be exciting for years to come and Adam Haluska (Iowa) can drain the outside shot but couldn't you have gotten a post player to work along side Tyson Chandler?

Orlando Magic - 6-10 Milovan Rakovic (Serbia) will add more depth to Orlando's bench and 6-6 Austrailian Brad Newley can shoot. Both will sit overseas most likely. Not bad for only having two second rounders.

Los Angeles Lakers - You added a long 6-4 point guard Javarris Crittendon (Georgia Tech) in the first round to learn the triangle (Phil Jackson loves the big points) and 7-0 Marc Gasol (Spain, brother of Pau) with the 2nd round pick. Gasol isn't the player his brother is but will replace Chris Mihm eventually. 6-6 guard Sun Yse (China) has a chance to make the squad this year with the loss of Smush Parker (most likely) and Aaron McKie Sounds like C work to me.

Grade D


Miami Heat - This team could have used this pick on a big man who can rebound and maybe stretch the floor. Shaquille O'Neal is getting older and Alonzo Mourning is thinking of retirement. You already have Dorell Wright as a young swingman and Dwyane Wade is your star two-guard. Ohio State's 6-5 Daequan Cook fits where?

Grade F


Houston Rockets - You draft Aaron Brooks, a 5-9 point guard out of Oregon in the first round when some needed size could have been had? That's why you don't make it out of the first round annually!

              

Any questions, comments, suggestions email Clayton at clayton@geoclan.com.

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