- Chad Ford, Senior Writer, NBA Insider
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UPDATED 7:30 PM ET: Pick Nos. 5 and 6
Draft day is here, and I've never seen such tumult and turmoil. Multiple trade scenarios are flying fast and furious. Most of it is headache-inducing.
In the span of an hour, one team source claimed that a three-way deal between Atlanta, Phoenix and Minnesota was on the verge of happening. Another said it had fallen apart when one of the Hawks' owners vetoed the trade. A third said it was never even talked about. All three sources were connected to the teams involved. Whom to believe?
This is the time of year when it becomes difficult to see through the smoke. We know who No. 1 and No. 2 will be. After that, we're still not sure who's drafting where, let alone who's drafting whom.
Here's our latest take, after talking to numerous NBA team sources, about how the draft might play out Thursday night. We'll be updating the mock draft throughout the day as new information becomes available, so check back often.
You can also take a look at our just updated Top 100 to get a look at the best prospects in the draft
(Oden's previous position: No. 1 to Portland)
The skinny: GM Kevin Pritchard's lips are sealed but all signs do point to Oden being the No. 1 pick.
I don't see how the Blazers will regret it unless Oden ends up having injury issues. He stands poised to be the most dominant defensive big man in the league. If he develops his offense, he'll be a star and likely will lead the Blazers back to the Finals.
(Durant's previous position: No. 2 to Seattle)
The skinny: Although the Sonics would've preferred Oden, Durant is such an amazing player that they could hardly be disappointed. He should be the most exciting player in the NBA to watch someday.
From everything we hear, we should expect the Sonics to do a major shakeup of their roster over the next few months.
(Horford's previous position: No. 3 to Atlanta)
The skinny: There was a minor dust-up in the Hawks' front office Wednesday, with Billy Knight pushing for Horford and some of the Hawks' ownership pushing for Yi Jianlian.
I'm told it was resolved in Horford's favor late Wednesday ... that is, if Atlanta doesn't find a way to resurrect the three-way Kevin Garnett-Amare Stoudemire deal or make another trade.
(Conley's previous position: No. 4 to Memphis)
The skinny: I think there are two factions in the Grizzlies camp. One is in love with Conley. The other thinks Corey Brewer's the guy. And Joakim Noah also is in consideration here.
I think Conley ends up being the man. Memphis loves 2006 draftee Kyle Lowry, but sees Conley as a Tony Parker-like prospect down the road.
(Green's previous position: No. 6 to Milwaukee)
The skinny: The Celtics will send this pick to Seattle for Ray Allen. The Sonics' choice, according to sources, is Jeff Green.
(Yi's previous position: No. 5 to Boston)
The skinny: Yi doesn't want to play there, but the Bucks want him.
They have him as the fifth-best player in the draft. Should be interesting.
(Thornton's previous position: No. 10 to Sacramento)
The skinny: The Wolves are thinking about Thornton, Brewer and Noah here. But the late word is that they are leaning toward Thornton, perhaps the second-best scorer in the draft.
(Noah's previous position: No. 10 to Sacramento)
The skinny: Lots of teams are trying to pry this pick away from Charlotte. That means it's difficult to peg who's going here.
And the Wolves have contacted the Charlotte Bobcats to try to help facilitate a deal for Garnett, one day after a potential three-way deal with the Phoenix Suns and the Atlanta Hawks hit a roadblock.
According to sources, the Wolves are asking the Bobcats to give up the No. 8 pick along with an undisclosed player. In the proposed deal, Garnett would go to Phoenix, and the Suns would send Amare Stoudemire to Charlotte. The Bobcats would also be required to take Suns guard Marcus Banks.
There are also other versions of this deal that include the Bobcats just keeping KG.
If the Bobcats keep the pick, they would likely take the NBA-ready Noah
(Brewer's previous position: No. 7 to Minnesota)
The skinny: The Bulls would love for Noah to fall to them. If he doesn't, Brewer is a good fit in the Bulls' backcourt.
They would prefer to bring Ben Gordon off the bench, and Brewer's defensive intensity would make him a favorite of Scott Skiles.
(Wright's previous position: No. 8 to Charlotte)
The skinny: The Kings were eyeing Jeff Green and Al Thornton, but if they aren't there, they'll take the best player left in the draft -- Wright.
(Law's previous position: No. 11 to Atlanta)
The skinny: We keep hearing the Hawks will address the point guard situation with this pick, one way or the other.
They also have been talking to Minnesota about moving this pick in a larger KG deal. They're hoping to get the Warriors to part with Ellis for the pick. They've also been talking to Seattle about trading this pick for Luke Ridnour and to Toronto for Jose Calderon.
If the Hawks keep the pick, Law is probably the man. If the Wolves get it, it probably would be Hawes. If the Sonics get it, it will be Rodney Stuckey.
If the Raptors get it, this could be the place Nick Young lands.
(Wright's previous position: No. 14 to L.A. Clippers)
The skinny: The Sixers really need a power forward, but at this point, all the worthy ones will be gone.
They would prefer to get their hands on a guy such as Al Horford, Jeff Green or Brandan Wright and have been talking to several teams about moving up in the draft.
If they keep the pick, the choice is between Hawes, Julian Wright, Nick Young and Jason Smith.
I think they'll go with Wright, who is probably the best talent on the board and a guy who can play some 3 and 4 in the NBA.
(Young's previous position: No. 14 to L.A. Clippers)
The skinny: With Desmond Mason hitting free agency, the Hornets will look for a swingman to play alongside a (hopefully) healthy Peja Stojakovic.
Young would be a great fit in New Orleans. The Hornets need shooting and athleticism in their backcourt, and Young can deliver.
(Crittenton's previous position: No. 20 to Miami)
The skinny: The Clippers like Acie Law, but it's looking more and more likely that the Hawks will take him at No. 11. The Clippers have been talking trade with a number of teams but haven't been able to close a deal so far.
Look for the Clippers to go with a young point guard to help ease the loss of Shaun Livingston. Crittenton is big, can shoot and is an excellent floor leader. He's just a little raw. The Clippers are also seriously considering Stuckey here.
Chad Ford covers the NBA for ESPN Insider.
As draft day arrives, Chad Ford presents his sixth version of the mock draft, including the latest word from around the NBA on how the first round will go.