Oregon's Jackson making his move
Insider's first mock draft appeared late Wednesday night, and by 8 a.m. Thursday I already had 15 messages on my cell. By the time I shut off my phone at 1:30 a.m. Friday, the number had swelled to around 50 calls.
Many of them came from agents protesting where we projected a client or two on the mock draft. It's safe to say every agent believes his client is a lottery pick. I heard guarantees on about 30 players sure to be in the lottery on draft night. I didn't have the heart to tell them only 14 players actually can be selected there.
The feedback from NBA scouts and GMs is more helpful. As I wrote Thursday, the draft boards of NBA teams are wildly different. Players are all over the board, making it difficult, even impossible, to produce a mock draft that means much. Over the next few weeks things should come into focus as two important events occur.
Next week, nearly every team will be represented in Treviso, Italy, for Reebok's Eurocamp. The camp is filled with big-time draft talent, including Pavel Podkolzine, Martynas Andriuskevicius, Mile Ilic, Johan Petro, Roko Leni Ukic and Drago Pasalic, all of whom have entered this year's draft.
There will also be a number of top prospects for next year, including Nemanja Aleksandrov, Rudy Fernandez, Marko Lekic, Vladimir Veremeenko and Manuchar Markoishvili, among others. Teams should get a much better read on some interesting big men (Insider also will be in Treviso for the week to report on the camp).
The following week is the Chicago pre-draft camp. Every year several bubble-type prospects emerge and plant themselves firmly in the first round. Others disappear completely. Just as important, the top players in the draft go through the combine and measurements, ending all the silly speculation about the height of players (no, Connecticut's Emeka Okafor is not 6-7).
Here are some players whose draft stock we may have rated a little too low, and those we rated a little too high. (The mock draft will be updated accordingly next week).
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