2007 NBA Draft: Small Forwards
By Aran Smith
Small forward is easily the most talent laden position in this year's draft with one franchise player (Durant) and 5 other possible lottery picks (Green, Brewer, Thornton, J. Wright, T.Young). This group is extremely athletic and talented and should provide a number of teams in the lottery with immediate help as well as potential for the future.
[img_assist|nid=3798|title=Kevin Durant - AP Photo|desc=|link=none|align=right|width=250|height=351]1. Kevin Durant 6-10 220 SF Texas Fr. -- 25.8 ppg, 11.1 rpg, 1.3 apg, 1.9 spg, 47.3 fg%, 81.6 ft%, 40.4 3p% -- Durant turned college basketball into his own playground, essentially scoring at will and making the game look far too easy for the youngest player on the court wherever he played. He has the chance to be a special offensive player on the next level and a franchise talent. The poor results in the combine are more a result of his youth than anything, although his lack of great foot speed is something we noted during the season as a slight drawback for him as a perimeter player.
Outlook: A special talent and a tremendous pick at #2 for the Seattle Supersonics. Durant should be an instant impact player on the next level.
2. Jeff Green 6-9 225 SF Georgetown Jr. -- 14.3 ppg, 6.4 rpg, 3.2 apg, 0.8 spg, 51.3 fg%, 77.5 ft%, 37.5 3p% -- With a rare ability to make those around him better at small forward, Green's versatility makes him a tremendous team player. Green's statistics were limited some by playing in the Georgetown system, though he was far too unselfish in the team's tournament loss to Ohio State. He lacks the sheer athleticism of some of the other small forwards available, but is a quality individual with an excellent skill set.
Outlook: Boston is said to be trying to move their pick, but if they keep the pick Green is the player they like at 5. Regardless, Green should find a spot in the top 10 somewhere with a good shot to go top 5-7.
3. Corey Brewer 6-8 183 SF Florida Jr. -- 13.2 ppg, 4.7 rpg, 1.2 apg, 1.9 spg, 47.5 fg%, 72.3 ft%, 33.6 3p% -- Brewer was the biggest key to Florida's repeat National Championship. His athleticism is on an elite level. He has a great attitude and really stepped up in big games. Brewer may never be a bigtime scorer, but he'll be solid, and his ability to defend means even worse case scenario he won't be a complete bust.
Outlook: Brewer could go as high as 6 to Milwaukee and is not likely to fall past 10-12 range. He's a proven winner who should come in and be a factor right away.
4. Al Thornton 6-7 220 SF/PF Florida St. Sr. -- 19.7 ppg, 4.3 rpg, 1.0 apg, 0.7 spg, 44.5 fg%, 69.7 ft%, 41.5 3p% -- Thornton is a beast of a combo forward. He's relentless attacking the basket and plays at a high energy level. He has a nice stroke and has really worked hard at his face the basket skills where he can legitimately pull up from 15-18 feet off the dribble, as well as take it to the rack.
Outlook: With some quality workouts against players such as Corey Brewer, Thornton is on the rise and could go as high as 6th to Milwaukee. More likely he will find a spot in the 8-12 range.
5. Julian Wright 6-8 218 SF Kansas So. -- 12.0 ppg, 7.8 rpg, 2.2 apg, 1.4 spg, 54.9 fg%, 61.3 ft%, 23.1 3p% -- Wright is a freakish athlete and an excellent student with high marks off the court. He played point guard in high school and has tremendous passing and ball handling ability for a 6-8 guy. He may always struggle to shoot from the perimeter but his length and athleticism paired with his ball skills makes him an intriguing talent.
Outlook: The Bulls are showing interest in Hawes and Yi Jianlian, but Julian Wright is the player sources say they secretly covet.
6. Thaddeus Young 6-7 203 SF GT Fr. -- 14.4 ppg, 4.9 rpg, 2.0 apg, 1.3 spg, 47.8 fg%, 74.3 ft%, 41.9 3p% -- In some ways Young is the equivalent of taking a high school player as he still lacks a great feel for the game, but 14 ppg in the ACC shows that he's on his way. Despite being raw, he shows the potential to be a very good shooter and overall talent. He will likely take longer to produce than some of the other forwards on this list however.
Outlook: Young could find a spot in the late lottery or slip to the mid first round. With so many quality small forwards, Thad may drop some from where he would probably go in a less wing-forward heavy draft. Another issue for Young is that teams drafting in the late teens all seem to be in good shape at the SF position.
7. Alando Tucker 6-5 210 SG/SF Wisc. Sr. -- 19.9 ppg, 5.4 rpg, 2.0 apg, 0.9 spg, 47.0 fg%, 65.9 ft%, 32.5 3p% -- Tucker has an eerie similarity to Josh Howard entering the 2003 draft. A senior in a strong draft who has fallen out of favor. Like Howard, he improved each year but is getting overlooked due to overexposure and underdeveloped ball skills. His jumpshot showed great improvement in his senior year, a testament to his great work ethic. Similar to Howard at Wake Forest, there's a reason he was such a strong player and led such a strong team for several seasons.
Outlook: Tucker is seen as a bubble first rounder, but it's hard to imagine him falling out of the first round. If he does, he will be an absolute steal as an early second rounder.
8. Reyshawn Terry 6-7 232 SF UNC Sr. -- 9.7 ppg, 5.4 rpg, 1.7 apg, 0.7 spg, 49.4 fg%, 73.9 ft%, 43.7 3p% -- Despite being one of the oldest players on this list, Terry has excellent upside due to his terrific athleticism. With such a girth of talent at UNC, Terry's talents went underutilized in his senior season. He has an NBA build with great run/jump athleticism.
Outlook: Terry has a shot to sneak into the late first round area. It won't be easy as this position is chock full of talent, but if he falls into the second round it shouldn't be too far as teams came away very impressed with him in Orlando.
9. Wilson Chandler 6-7 230 SF DePaul So. -- 14.6 ppg, 6.9 rpg, 1.4 apg, 0.6 spg, 45.0 fg%, 65.4 ft%, 33.3 3p% -- Chandler is a a high risk/reward pick. He's a sensational athlete but has a questionable motor and work ethic. He is tremendous in the open floor with jets, but can certainly improve his intensity level on defense.
Outlook: Chandler is rumored to have a promise at 23 with the Knicks. Isaih likes to promise players, and Chandler would give the Knicks an upside pick at the small forward position.
10. Quinton Hosley 6-6 210 SF Fresno St. Sr. -- 13.9 ppg, 8.9 rpg, 1.6 apg, 1.3 spg, 41.8 fg%, 67.2 ft%, 32.2 3p% -- Hosley is a rangy athlete with a better three point shot than he showed. Sort of a poor man's Shawn Marion, he is still raw especially for a senior, but shows NBA athleticism and good potential.
Outlook: Hosley is a sleeper who could go undrafted after a subpar senior season, his upside should warrent a pick in the mid second round area, if teams are still awake at that point.
Others: Luka Bogdanovic 6-9 210 SF Serbia 1985 | Jared Dudley 6-7 225 SF Boston College Sr. | Joao Gomes 6-7 208 SG/SF Portugal 1985 | Caleb Green 6-7 230 SF/PF O.Roberts Sr. | Dominic McGuire 6-8 210 SF Fresno St. Jr. | Cartier Martin 6-7 220 SG/SF Kansas St. Sr. | Demetris Nichols 6-7 212 SF Syracuse Sr. | Giorgos Printezis 6-8 205 SF Greece 1985 | Curtis Sumpter 6-7 223 SF Villanova Sr. | Mirza Teletovic 6-8 235 SF/PF Bos. 1985 | Brandon Wallace 6-9 210 SF/PF So.Carolina Sr. | Avis Wyatt 6-10 215 SF/PF Virginia St. Sr.