Commentary

Chad Ford's Mock Draft, Version 7.1: Picks 31-60

Originally Published: June 26, 2008
By Chad Ford | ESPN.com

Click here for Round 1

The second round of the NBA draft has grown in prominence over the past several years. Since 1998, the list of second-rounders who have gone on to have productive NBA careers is pretty impressive. It includes six All-Stars -- Gilbert Arenas, Carlos Boozer, Manu Ginobili, Michael Redd, Rashard Lewis and Mehmet Okur -- and a number of other talented players, including Monta Ellis, Anderson Varejao, Mo Williams, Jason Kapono, Luke Walton, Kyle Korver, Luis Scola, Amir Johnson, Louis Williams, Brandon Bass, Ronny Turiaf, Paul Millsap and Craig Smith.

Last year, several second-rounders -- including Carl Landry, Ramon Sessions, Glen Davis and Marc Gasol -- showed that they have a promising future in the league.

And this year the draft is considered especially deep, so you might not want to turn off the TV after the first round.


31. Minnesota Timberwolves (via Miami)

Serge Ibaka | PF | Congo

The Wolves get one of the best athletes in the draft. Ibaka is preparing to sign a new contract in Spain and his agents told NBA teams on Wednesday not to take him in the first round. It's a big enough threat that I think the Wolves will benefit early in the second round.



32. Seattle SuperSonics

Kyle Weaver | PG | Washington State

The Sonics are high on Weaver, an athletic combo guard who can defend and slash to the basket. He's not a consistent scoring threat, but he fills the box score in just about every other way.



33. Portland Trail Blazers (via Memphis)

Nathan Jawai | PF | Australia

Jawai is a big body who can create space in the low post. He may return to Australia for a few years to keep developing before the Blazers decide to bring him over.



34. Minnesota Timberwolves

Nikola Pekovic | C | Serbia

He's a tough guy who uses brute strength to score and rebound in the paint. He'd go higher if it wasn't for his new deal with Panathinaikos. He's making so much money in Europe now that a team will have to fork over a lot of cash to get him over to the States.



35. Los Angeles Clippers

D.J. White | PF | Indiana

The Clippers have Elton Brand, but they could use a backup with White's rebounding skills.



36. Portland Trail Blazers (via New York)

Omer Asik | C | Turkey

On talent, Asik should be a late first-round prospect. Of all the 22-year-old international players, he's the guy teams covet. However, he's set to sign a five-year deal in Turkey with no NBA buyout, meaning it may be difficult-to-impossible to ever get him to the U.S.



37. Milwaukee Bucks

Damjan Rudez | SF | Croatia

Rudez is a big-time sleeper in the draft. He's a long, athletic forward who can really shoot. He has outplayed some of the top talent in the draft in recent workouts.



38. Charlotte Bobcats

Bill Walker | SF | Kansas State

Michael Jordan lands one of the best dunkers in the draft. If Walker hadn't hurt his knee last year, he would've been a lottery pick.



39. Chicago Bulls

Richard Hendrix | PF | Alabama

Hendrix isn't flashy, but he is tough in the paint, can rebound and has the potential to be a solid player off the bench for the Bulls.



40. New Jersey Nets

Joey Dorsey | PF | Memphis

I'm not sure how the Nets will handle Dorsey's off-court stuff, but they need some toughness and athleticism in the paint. Dorsey can provide it.



41. Toronto Raptors (via Indiana)

George Hill | PG | IUPUI

The Raptors need to add a backup guard to replace T.J. Ford. Hill's ability to play both the 1 and the 2 will come in handy in Toronto.



42. Sacramento Kings (via Atlanta)

Mike Taylor | PG | Iowa State

Taylor is one of the most athletic point guards in the draft, but he has struggled to keep his nose clean.



43. Sacramento Kings

DeVon Hardin | C | Cal

The Kings need size, and Hardin is the most talented big man left on the board. He hasn't lived up to his potential yet, but in the second round you take a shot.



44. Utah Jazz (via Philadelphia)

Goran Dragic | PG | Slovenia

Dragic is an athletic point guard who can really get to the basket. Of the international guys left on the board, he's most ready to contribute now.



45. San Antonio Spurs (via Toronto)

Jamont Gordon | SG | Mississippi State

Gordon is another sleeper. Strong and athletic, he just finds ways to make plays. I'm not sure he's a point guard, but he would add some toughness and energy to the Spurs' backcourt.



46. Seattle SuperSonics (via Portland)

Malik Hairston | SG | Oregon

Hairston is solid in virtually every area of his game and is one of the few players left in the draft who could contribute immediately.



47. Washington Wizards

Walter Sharpe | PF | UAB

This former blue-chip forward from Alabama struggled with grades and narcolepsy during his college years, but the scouts -- and especially the Wizards -- are intrigued by his talent.



48. Phoenix Suns (via Cleveland)

Pat Calathes | SF | St. Joseph's

If new coach Terry Porter elects to keep Mike D'Antoni's spirit alive in Phoenix, Calathes would be a good fit. The sweet-shooting point forward is still developing, but he has great potential.



49. Golden State Warriors

Josh Duncan | SF | Xavier

An athletic forward from Xavier, Duncan can shoot the 3-pointer and run the floor.



50. Seattle SuperSonics (via Denver)

J.R. Giddens | SG | New Mexico

On talent, Giddens is one of the top 30 players in the draft. But his off-court antics have hurt his stock. He is starting to get his life back together and would be tough to pass on this late in the draft.



51. Dallas Mavericks

Semih Erden | C | Turkey

The athletic center for Turkey is talented but can be a bit of a head case at times. Still, at this point in the draft, he's a very good get.



52. Miami Heat (via Orlando)

Luc Richard Mbah a Moute | SF | UCLA

Pat Riley was always enamored with Bruce Bowen. Mbah a Moute is perhaps the best defender in the draft.



53. Utah Jazz

Sean Singletary | PG | Virginia

The Virginia guard is a favorite of Jazz GM Kevin O'Connor. He's a talented scorer and distributor -- kind of in the Dee Brown mold.



54. Houston Rockets

Shan Foster | SG | Vanderbilt

Foster is a lights-out shooter, but his game is one-dimensional.



55. Portland Trail Blazers (via Phoenix)

Mantas Kalnietis | PG | Lithuania

The athletic point guard from Lithuania hasn't had much playing time, but he seems to have all the physical skills you look for in a point guard.



56. Seattle SuperSonics (via New Orleans)

Sonny Weems | SG | Arkansas

Weems scored as one of the most athletic wings in the draft during combine tests. He was never a dominant player in college, but he could turn into a nice role player.



57. San Antonio Spurs

Trent Plaisted | C | BYU

Plaisted's athleticism, energy and toughness would be major assets in San Antonio. If he had a bigger offensive repertoire, he would go much higher.



58. Los Angeles Lakers

Davon Jefferson | SF | USC

Jefferson has so much talent; he just doesn't know how to use it. The Lakers can afford to spend some time with him and see if they can get his game up to snuff.



59. Detroit Pistons

Darnell Jackson | PF | Kansas

Jackson brings his hard hat to work every day. That's what GM Joe Dumars loves.



60. Boston Celtics

Sasha Kaun | C | Kansas

The NBA champs draft the center of the NCAA champs. Kaun actually should be going higher, but he's got a big offer in Russia and it doesn't look like an NBA team can match. Still, if he develops down the road, he's worth the investment.

Chad Ford covers the NBA for ESPN Insider.

Chad Ford

Senior Writer, NBA Insider