Greg Oden – Center
Selected: Round 1 – Overall #1
This was no surprise as Oden was the clear player needed by the Trailblazers if they have goals of competing for a championship in the near future. Or was he? Many still remember the famous draft of 1984 when the Blazers passed on a guy by the name of Jordan for a seven-footer out of Kentucky named Sam Bowie.
While the Blazers missed out on several championships after 84, the chance of taking another 7-footer to team with Rookie of the Year Brandon Roy and fellow high pick LaMarcus Aldridge is just too good to be true. While many felt Kevin Durant as a scorer could take a team to a title, the past has proven "Big Men" win championships with the right supporting cast and the Blazers look to have a very solid cast to place around Oden.
Oden provides the size needed to help on both the offensive and defensive sides of the court and should help Joel Przyzbilla, Aldridge and Roy get over the hump.
Now if the Trailblazers could have worked out a deal sending longtime court-mate Mike Conley with him they'd be talking championship run next season.
Why This Was The Right Pick: You don't pass on a player of Greg Oden's talents without it coming back to bite you. The Blazers have taken some big-men in the past with mixed results. This was a no-brainer and one every GM would have made.
Why This Was The Wrong Pick: Yes, Kevin Durant can light it up from all over the court. Yes, he's going to put tails in the seats. But will he help you control the boards and give you an inside-outside game? No! There is no way this is the wrong pick.
Mike Conley - Point Guard
Selected: Round 1 – Overall #4
Some thought the Hawks would pull the trigger and take the next super point guard. But they went for size instead of a floor general with their first pick then got their guard Acie Law with their next selection at #11. Will it come back and haunt them? Time will only tell as many feel Conley is the right man for the Grizzlies.
Why do you think Greg Oden won so many games in high school, AAU and college? The simple answer is Mike Conley knows how to run the show and get people in position to be successful. With great physical ability Conley will be a guard hard to handle with his speed and ball handling ability.
Why This Was The Right Pick: Winner!!! Mike Conley knows how to win and expects to win every time he takes the court. Having always been in the shadow of his longtime running mate Greg Oden, Conley is an old-school point guard who looks to pass before taking a shot. When he does shoot he'll hit on a good percentage of them. Don't be surprised if Conley is soon battling for an assist title. The Grizzlies need for a true point is well known as they have a very athletic group of players able to run the floor with anyone in the league.
Why This Was The Wrong Pick: Going at the number four pick Memphis takes a guard when many felt a forward would be more worth the price. A team that needs inside tough play the Grizzlies have better hope Conley is not overwhelmed as many feel he's too young and undersized.
Daequan Cook – Shooting Guard
Selected: Round 1 – Overall #21
PHILADELPHIA 76ERS – TRADED TO MIAMI HEAT
The Sixers need everything in this year's draft and next year's draft and a few drafts after that. On the surface you could see why the Sixers liked Cook, but Miami was smart and knew the player Philly wanted and made the pick then worked the trade to get the player they wanted in Cook.
If you would have told people over a year ago Cook would not be a Top 10 pick many would have laugh. But a rough season in college left many questioning his ability. While others have seen even more hardship in years past Cook worked his tail off and was a big-time performer each time he had the chance to show his stuff. It paid off as his stock rose out of the second round and into the first.
Cook is the perfect fit for Shaquille O'Neal and Dwyane Wade as the Heat need a major shooting guard to help offset their attack. The Heat have some issues but really lacked enough fire-power to make another run for a title. If several members can return to health and the new pieces mold together, look out for another title run by Wade and O'Neal before the big –fellow retires.
Why This Was The Right Pick: Cook is young, athletic and has shown he's got a deadly outside game over the course of the past few seasons. While he struggled to find himself at Ohio State, the NBA game will help Cook regain the confidence needed for success. As they always say, shooters must continue to shoot even when they struggle. Plus, do you think he's got a chip on his shoulders after hearing the many nay-sayers? Add in the fact he'll have two great pros in Wade and O'Neal showing him the ropes and Cook is set to find success.
Why This Was The Wrong Pick: Cook struggled in the college game and didn't show the skills many felt he had while a highly rated prep player. If he struggled at Ohio State with all the talent around him, what will he do in the NBA when the game is faster and known for leaving even the best shooting players in the cold? Cook has too many things going on in his life and should have stayed another season at Ohio State working on his overall game.
There you have it, three Buckeyes selected in the first round of the draft. The only Buckeye left on the board was Ron Lewis who some felt could have seen his name called late in the second round.