Play NBA Official Draft Pick 'em Now!
By John Schuhmann
NEW YORK, June 27 -- Sure, the mock drafters out there are uncertain, the columnists aren't sure and the beat writers will wait and see, but the players themselves must know where they're going, right?
"No one really knows where they're going to be," LaMarcus Aldridge revealed.
That was the same sentiment we heard from all 15 players in New York, just about 30 hours before they would start finding out. Last year, the No. 1 pick was between Andrew Bogut and Marvin Williams. This year, it could be one of several people: Aldridge, Adam Morrison, Andrea Bargnani, Rudy Gay. Your guess is as good as the next guy's, even if that next guy is one of the above.
"I have no idea where I'm gonna go," Morrison said.
Aldridge will let everyone else do the worrying.
Terrence Vaccaro/NBAE/Getty Images
It starts with the Raptors. They worked out Morrison, Aldridge and Gay. But they also brought in Marcus Williams twice, and he's considered a mid-to-late lottery selection. So, they're not against trading the No. 1 pick. If there wasn't enough confusion already, that would stir things up a bit more.
Who worked out for whom gives you some sort of an idea. Like Williams, a few players made return visits to certain cities. One would think that would be a solid indicator of a team's intent. Gay traveled to Charlotte twice, but does that necessarily mean he's likely to go no lower than No. 3?
"I don't think so," Gay said, indicating that he's no closer to being a Bobcat than he is to being a member of the Miami Heat, who don't even have a pick.
Along with Toronto, Williams also was asked to return to Boston a second time, but he says that none of the five teams he worked out for gave him any idea that they were more interested than anyone else.
"Everyone kinda gives you the poker face," Williams said. "I heard the same lines seven times. They really don't give you any feedback."
Cedric Simmons, who worked out for anybody who called (at least seven different teams) echoed Williams' observation.
"Everybody said the same thing," Simmons said. "They like me and I got a bright future ahead of me."
So, without any indication from the teams they worked out for, some of the players may make their own assumptions about where they'd fit best. They take a look at the draft board and at the personnel of the teams in their range.
"I've looked at a couple of rosters and I see Toronto, Atlanta and Boston as me stepping right in and contributing quick," Williams said.
Naismith and Wooden Award winner J.J. Redick sees opportunities for himself as well.
"I think Houston, Orlando and Utah ... those three teams all said that they are looking at a wing player," Redick said.
Other players don't like to speculate too much though. After all, they'll find out soon enough, right?
"I'm going into this whole thing with a clear head and letting my agent take care of everything," Aldridge said. "I think I'm just going to relax and wait until my name is called. I think when you get caught up in trying to get here or go there, that's when all the stress starts to build up."
While we don't believe Aldridge will be that calm when David Stern steps to the podium Wednesday night, we admire his perspective. Tyrus Thomas, also projected to go in the top five, feels similarly.
"I'm in the situation I've wanted to be in my whole life, which is to be in the NBA," Thomas said. "I don't know where I'll be. I don't know who I'm going to be playing for, but I know I'm blessed."