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Rock out with your mock (draft) out

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(And no, I cannot take credit for that title.  I wish I had something better, but I don't).

One subject we haven't really touched on much thus far is the NBA Draft.  Maybe it's because we're tired of placing our energy into the draft after so many years of picking near the top.  Maybe it's a fallout from the Kwame Brown #1 selection.  Maybe it's just that I don't care as much.  Who knows?

But with the draft less than a month and a half away, it's time to take a look.  The Wizards pick 16th and 47th, which is only slightly higher than they did last year.  The good news is that this draft is supposed to be one of the deepest in recent memory, although I personally think that's a little overstated.  

Who's currently in the Wizards range right now?

NBAdraft.net has the Wizards taking Nick Young, a wing out of USC, with the 16th pick.  Here's the "strengths" section from his scouting report.

Young is a throwback player who really understands how to employ the mid-range jumper ... Ball handling ability is above average ... Will use a number of spins, hesitation moves and crossovers to gain separation for his pull-up jumper ... When he moves without the ball he shows solid ability to work off screens and convert catch and shoot plays ... Creative player who makes even the most difficult shots look easy ... Has three point range on his jump shot ... Not a bad finisher when he drives to the basket ... Has an good set of physical tools to be a competent defender on the next level with long arms, size and decent athleticism ... Possesses an solid understanding of the game and is very fundamentally sound ... Post up skills are advanced as he welcomes the opportunity to shoot his turnaround jumper ... Defensively when motivated Young can be a real force playing the passing lanes for easy steals ... Fearless player with a great deal of confidence in his ability ... An above average rebounder for his position thanks to his long arms ...

Ooh, me likey, especially the defensive comment.  Also, if you go to the ESPN page, Chad Ford has a podcast with Young.  I'd link it, but it won't show up for some reason, and it's Insider anyway.

Draft Express has the Wizards taking Jason Smith, a 7 footer from Colorado State.  This comes from a game log from the season.

Unfortunately, several of the areas we had hoped to see development in remain issues. First of all, while Smith has a phenomenal frame for a skill-oriented 7-footer, he really needs add strength. He runs the court decently well, but struggles to get moving and doesn't appear to handle physical defense very well. Smith has the potential to develop his body to the point where he is an above-average athlete in the NBA, but it would be nice to see a bit more improvement over the past two offseasons.
Furthermore, while Smith puts up excellent all-around numbers, he probably doesn't impact the game as much as he could. Part of this is the sub-par team he plays for, but Smith generally scores his points in short spurts. He rarely makes the blue-collar play, and routinely gets himself into foul trouble.

I'd probably stay away from him.

Hoops Addict's latest mock gives the Wizards Al Thorton, a forward from Florida State.

The injury to forward Caron Butler hallmarked the Wizards need for forward depth and excellence something that is embodied by Al Thornton. Thornton is immensely talented and always plays like he has something to prove. Thornton is skilled/polished/mature and will contribute in diverse capacities right away.

My main problem with Thorton is that he's very old and doesn't really have an NBA position, but those same things have been said about guys like Paul Millsap, Craig Smith, and Josh Howard in recent drafts.

Chad Ford's 16th ranked prospect is Georgia Tech forward Thaddeus Young, who's stock has slipped this year.  

The guys on the Real GM boards are behind Rice's Morris Almond.  Says user "Chocolate City Jordanaire:"

FWIW, if you go to draftexpress's site and click on player statistics for Almond, take a look at Basic Stats per 40 Pace Adjusted.

31.1 pts (only 21.1 FGAs) and 9.7 rebs, and 10.5 FTAs and also 2.9 made 3pts at 48% fg and 45% 3pt and 84%FTs. (He can carry an offense, even at the NBA level especially in light of the emphasis now on perimeter play).


Of course, there's always the possibility that a sure-fire lottery pick slides down into the teens.  This year, the top candidates seem to be Jeff Green and Joakim Noah.  If Noah slips to 16, the Wizards should pick him right away.  He seems tailor-made for improving the defense from the center spot.  Green also would be a phenomenal fit, even though I don't see him becoming a great pro.  He did play in the Princeton offense in college, after all.

What are your draft thoughts?  Who should the Wizards grab?