TEAMS FACE A TOUGH CALL ON DRAFT NIGHT: PLAY IT SAFE AND GO WITH THE BEST FIT ON THE BOARD, OR TRY TO HIT IT BIG WITH A RISKY MOVE. CHAD FORD IS PLAYING WITH HOUSE MONEY, SO HE CAN HAVE IT BOTH WAYS
1 MILWAUKEE BUCKS SAFE BET: Andrew Bogut, C, Utah
LONG SHOT: Marvin Williams, F, UNC
Bogut is just what Milwaukee needs: a talented big man. But in three years, Williams just may be seen as the best player of this draft. If only the Bucks had that kind of time.
2 ATLANTA HAWKS SB: Marvin Williams
LS: Deron Williams, PG, Illinois
Atlanta wants Bogut, but if he's gone, they'll grab the prodigy. Thing is, they don't need another project. They need a floor general.
3 PORTLAND TRAILBLAZERS SB: Gerald Green, G, Gulf Shores Academy, Houston
LS: Chris Paul, PG, Wake Forest
Paul is the best on the board, but the Blazers took their point-guard-for-the future, Sebastian Telfair, last year. An athletic 2-guard to grow up with Bassy seems a reasonable alternative.
4 NEW ORLEANS HORNETS SB: Chris Paul
LS: Danny Granger, SF, New Mexico
They'll jump at Paul if they can. And he can fill Baron Davis' shoes. But Granger, the most underrated player in the draft, is an interesting wild card.
5 CHARLOTTE BOBCATS SB: Deron Williams
LS: Raymond Felton, PG, UNC
If the Bobcats can't package their picks for Marvin Williams, they'll take his namesake. But Felton has local ties and pushes it harder.
6 UTAH JAZZ SB: Fran Vazquez, PF, Malaga, Spain
LS: Channing Frye, C, Arizona
Utah's desperate to get Paul or Williams. If it can't, Vazquez, a proven power forward, gives the Jazz welcome size. Frye does too, and his shotblocking and hops will fit in nicely.
7 TORONTO RAPTORS SB: Danny Granger
LS: Gerald Green
Five years post-T-Mac, and the loss still smarts. Green is the closest thing since, so he's headed here if he's available. He won't be, but the Raps could do worse than UNM's solid all-around baller and citizen.
8 NEW YORK KNICKS SB: Channing Frye
LS: Fran Vazquez
The Knicks can't pass up a mobile big man, so they'll take Frye-unless he's too soft for Isiah's taste. If they're lucky, the tougher Vazquez will still be in the greenroom.
9 GOLDEN STATE WARRIORS SB: Sean May, PF, UNC
LS: Ike Diogu, PF, Arizona
The seasoned May gives the Warriors a much-needed low-post scorer, but Diogu does too, and given time, might turn out to be the second coming of Elton Brand.
10 LOS ANGELES LAKERS SB: Raymond Felton
LS: Roko Ukic, PG, KK Split, Croatia
Kobe wants guys who won't steal his shots. Felton takes fewer than 10 a game. Ukic plays like Manu. That excites some, but not a selfish star. What Kobe wants, Kobe gets.
11 ORLANDO MAGIC SB: Martell Webster, SG, Seattle Prep
LS: Antoine Wright, SG, Texas A&M
The team needs shooters, and Webster has a great stroke. But Wright has an all-around game that could make Orlando forget T-Mac once and for all.
12 LOS ANGELES CLIPPERS SB: Antoine Wright
LS: Joey Graham, SF, Oklahoma State
With Bobby Simmons heading into free agency, Wright is insurance if Donald Sterling decides to get cheap again. But Graham will help out sooner.
13 CHARLOTTE BOBCATS SB: Joey Graham
LS: Ersan Ilyasova, F, Ulker, Turkey
Graham is a great athlete, and he's ready right now. On the other hand, in five years, Ilyasova could be a Kirilenko clone. Can the Bobcats wait?
14 MINNESOTA TIMBERWOLVES SB: Charlie Villanueva, PF, UConn
LS: Ryan Gomes, SF, Providence
Villanueva has lottery talent but an iffy attitude. That's never stopped the Wolves before. Then again, a stand-up guy like Gomes would be a surprise pick for Minny.
15 NEW YORK NETS SB: Hakim Warrick, PF, Syracuse
LS: Wayne Simien, PF, Kansas
The Nets love Warrick because he fits their style. That said, if Simien didn't have a history of injuries, his penchant for drawing double-teams would make him the safe bet here.
16 TORONTO RAPTORS SB: Ike Diogu
LS: Jarrett Jack, PG, Georgia Tech
If Diogu is on the board, his muscle and rebounding make him a great pick for the Raptors. Of course, they could use a guy at the point to back up Rafer Alston, too.
17 INDIANA PACERS SB: Rashad McCants, SG, UNC
LS: Sean May
McCants can shoot it like Reggie. Should his demeanor and slimness disqualify him-and his 'mate with the low-post game remain unplucked- the search for Reggie's replacement will continue.
18 BOSTON CELTICS SB: Yaroslav Korolev, SF, CSKA, Moscow
LS: Johan Petro, C, Pau Orthez, France
The Celtics want a young guy. Thing is, the one with Toni Kukoc's body (Korolev) is ready now, and the one with Jermaine O'Neal's (Petro) is still a way off.
19 MEMPHIS GRIZZLIES SB: Julius Hodge, G, NC State
LS: Andrew Bynum, C, St. Joseph HS, Metuchen, N.J.
West loves seniors who can play now. But to get a center, he'll have to chance it on Bynum, who is either Shaq-like or Shaq-lite.
20 DENVER NUGGETS SB: Ersan Ilyasova
LS: Rashad McCants
If Ilyasova is here, Denver should take him and stash him overseas. If McCants is around, they can buck the odds and snag a guy who can be molded by George Karl's tough love.
21 PHOENIX SUNS SB: Johan Petro
LS: Nate Robinson, G, Washington
Petro has a great body and upside, but Robinson would blow up in this offense. Yes, he's short and he's not pure at the point, but he's still one of the rare few who can push it faster than Steve Nash.
22 DENVER NUGGETS SB: Francisco Garcia, SG, Louisville
LS: Hakim Warrick
The Nuggets need a shooter, and Garcia is the top sniper left on the board. But if Warrick is still here, his high-flying act also fits nicely in the thin mountain air.
23 SACRAMENTO KINGS SB: Chris Taft, PF, Pittsburgh
LS: Charlie Villanueva
With CWebb gone, there's room here for a baggage-toting power forward. Taft's size and agility make him the safer of the two picks, but Villanueva's skill set fits this system better.
24 HOUSTON ROCKETS SB: Wayne Simien
LS: Chris Taft
Simien's a no-brainer; Yao needs a low-block foil. But Taft has potential that Jeff Van Gundy may be able to unleash.
25 SEATTLE SUPERSONICS SB: Jarrett Jack
LS: Andray Blatche, PF, South Kent (Conn.) Prep
Jack fills a hole at backup point guard, but Blatche, who at 6'11" can play inside and out, could be a poor man's KG.
26 DETROIT PISTONS SB: Ryan Gomes
LS: Francisco Garcia
The Pistons miss Corliss Williamson's instant O inside, and Gomes is better than Big Nasty. But if Garcia is around, can they pass on a guy who could be Rip with range?
27 UTAH JAZZ SB: Roko Ukic
LS: Yaroslav Korolev
Ukic may be gone-or too unpredictable for Jerry Sloan. Korolev may not be here either, but the Jazz did strike gold with a skinny Russian once before.
28 SAN ANTONIO SPURS SB: David Lee, PF, Florida
LS: Mickael Gelabale, F, Real Madrid, Spain
Lee has the blue-collar pedigree Gregg Popovich loves. Of course, given their track record, would it be so crazy if the Spurs looked beyond our shores once again?
29 MIAMI HEAT SB: Randolph Morris, C, Kentucky
LS: Luther Head, G, Illinois
The Heat will opt for size unless they realize in time that a Head-Wade backcourt would be one of the most exciting in the league.
30 NEW YORK KNICKS SB: Andrew Bynum
LS: Monta Ellis, G, Lanier HS, Jackson, Miss.
Think Isiah Thomas will pass up a light-it-up point guard who reminds him of himself? No way. The only way? If he didn't get the big guy at No. 8 he needs.
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