The following are the players in this year’s draft that will have the biggest impact in 2007 NBA season. The top 5 guys will be the most likely for rookie of the year contention, and the remaining 10 will be huge components of the season, showing that this year’s draft will go down as one of the deepest in quite some time.1. Kevin Durant- F- Seattle
As long as Rashard says good-bye to Washington, Durant will be the man from day one. He should easily crack 20 points a game, and will undoubtedly run away with ROY honors.
2. Mike Conley Jr.- PG-Memphis
His scoring and ability to get to the basket will be limited some as his game transitions to an NBA level, but his passing and decision making should be up to par.
3. Greg Oden- F/C- Portland
I don’t see any real reason why he shouldn’t be starting right away, but Portland does have an inordinate amount of depth at the post position as of late, so Oden dominating the boards from day one may not be set in stone. Still, he’s in the top 5 without a doubt.
4. Al Horford- F- Atlanta
Another case of being on a team with a bunch of capable bodies playing the same position. Horford may spend a bit of the early going earning his stripes, but by season’s end he should be showing everyone that he deserves more playing time than Sheldon Williams.
5. Acie Law- G- Atlanta
I really think Atlanta could be the next team emerging into the playoffs, and Law’s play will be a big reason why. I don’t doubt for a second his ability to play the point at the NBA level, and his scoring will definately keep him near the top of this class.
6. Corey Brewer- G/F- Minnesota
It remains to be determined if Garnett will sulk all year, get traded, or grit it out and do his damndest to will the Wolve’s back to the playoffs. What happens with him will surely be the fate of Brewer in his rookie season.
7. Jeff Green- G/F- Seattle
Again, with Rashard Lewis out of the picture, this would greatly improve the chances of immediate playing time and maturity of the two rookie’s games. Green is better suited at forward, but he can definately keep up with shooting guards, as well.
8. Jason Smith – F/C- Philadelphia
The Samuel Dalembert experiment is officially over. While Dalembert is still on the team, Smith is clearly the center of the future. With outstanding slashers in Iguodola and Rodney Carney, and the outside shooting of Kyle Korver, Jason Smith will find it to be quite comfortable in the paint.
9. Julian Wright- G/F- New Orleans
The Hornets are unlikely to bring back aging Desmond Mason, and with the often injured Peja, Wright would see playing time either way. It really all hangs on his development speed, and whether or not he can be just as effective as a guard as he can as a forward.
10. Joakim Noah- F- Chicago
He’s only in the top 10 because Chicago loves defense, not because of his hype. He’s got the size and tenacity to become a fan favorite and a demon inside the blocks. Noah may not be what the Bulls need on offense, but he sure will make an impact as a rookie.
11. Spencer Hawes- F/C- Sacramento
Sure, he’s a project player, but not in the mold of Johan Petro. The guy is seven feet tall and has the post skills of a polished veteran. It won’t take much to grab boards, some blocks, and score at least 10 a game. It also doesn’t hurt that Brad Miller is slowing down and turning up injured more than not.
12. Rudy Fernandez- G/F- Phoenix
No, I’m not forgetting about guys like Brandan Wright. I just don’t think he or some of the other guys taken before Fernandez are going to do much in their first year. Fernandez is simply missing bulk and strength in the lane from his ever so clever game. Still, his shooting and athleticism are coined skills that the Sun’s offense thrives on. He will play early and often.
13. Arron Afflalo- G/F- Detroit
With talks about Richard Hamilton being traded (quiet talks), Afflalo’s shooting and defense could be put on display sooner than expected.
14. Marcus Williams- G/F- San Antonio
He should have never fallen to the second round, but he did, and San Antonio got quite the steal. All Williams needs is good coaching and strong teammates to lead him in the right direction. Congratulations, Marcus, you just landed on the perfect team.
15. Jared Jordan- PG- L.A. Clippers
If he does indeed make the team, there is no reason to think he can’t crack the rotation. All he has to worry about is Shaun Livingston’s knee and Sam Cassell’s attitude.