ESPN’s Chad Ford will have four mock drafts today, versions 7.0, 7.1, 7.2 and 7.3. Yes, he’s a little crazy. Regardless, version 7.0 is out and Ford has the Warriors selecting Ekpe Udoh. Here’s what Ford wrote about the pick:
The Warriors are talking to a number of teams about potential trades and it looks like the No. 6 pick is up for grabs. The cost, however, is high. The Warriors want whoever takes the pick to also take the contract of Monta Ellis as part of the deal. If the Warriors keep the pick, they’re deciding between Greg Monroe and Ekpe Udoh. My source continues to support what I first reported Tuesday night, that Udoh has the edge. How he fits alongside two other athletic, shot-blocking big men — Anthony Randolph and Brandan Wright — is a bit of a mystery. But then again, we’re talking about the Warriors.
My analysis: I don’t think Udoh is so similar to Randolph and Wright. Wright and Randolph both weigh about 210 pounds; Udoh is listed closer to 240. That’s a big difference. I think Udoh is willing to mix it up inside and be more than just a weakside defender. Yes, Udoh is athletic, as are Randolph and Wright. And Randolph and Wright both block shots, but not at the level Udoh does. Wright averaged 1.8 blocks at North Carolina as a freshman, Randolph averaged 2.3 as a freshman at LSU. Udoh averaged 3.7 last season for Baylor. To me, Randolph is a small forward so he doesn’t compete with Udoh and I think Udoh is an upgrade to Wright. So, if this is the pick, I think it’s a good one.
Sports Illustrated’s Ian Thompsen has Georgia Tech big man Derrick Favors falling to the Warriors at No. 6 in his most recent mock draft. I can’t see that happening, it seems that the Nets are pretty much settled on drafting Favors with the third pick. But if the Warriors walked away from this draft with Favors, it would be the second consecutive season that the Warriors get the steal of the draft.
Yahoo! Sports has the Warriors selecting Udoh at No. 6. DraftExpress has the same result. NBAdraft.net (via FOX Sports) also has the Warriors drafting Udoh but writes that he’s a reach at No. 6. Here’s their reasoning:
After struggling to stand out in two years at Michigan, the 23-year-old was surrounded by quality teammates. Playing in a wide-open system at Baylor, he flourished. Was he a one-hit wonder, or will he be able to have the same success offensively at the NBA level?
My analysis: I think this is a legitimate argument. I know there’s a lot of concern about Udoh’s age, but the fact that he was unable to distinguish himself at Michigan and only excelled once he arrived at Baylor is a bit of a red flag. I still think Udoh is a good pick, but this argument gives me pause.
Feltbot writes that he thinks the Warriors are working on a blockbuster trade. Here’s how be breaks it down:
This is what I smell cooking: Some combination of Biedrins, Randolph, the expiring contracts of Gadzuric and Vlad Rad, and the #6 pick in a sign and trade for … Amare Stoudemire.
Adam Lauridsen of the San Jose Mercury News has the Warriors drafting Georgetown big man Greg Monroe in his latest mock draft. Here’s what he writes about Monroe:
Monroe still looks like the Warriors’ pick given their needs. He’s big enough to play center, has an identifiable skill (passing) that fits with the supposed new direction of the team, and frees Cohan to dump Biedrins’ long-term deal for more expiring spare parts.
Lauridsen also writes about the possibility of the Warriors packaging the pick and either Ellis or Biedrins for a ”decent veteran on an expiring deal.” Lauridsen does not like this idea.
There’s a lot of good reading and video from CSN and Matt Steinmetz. Access it here.
Also, Tim Kawakami has a ton of great Warriors- and draft-related reading in his Talking Points blog. Read it here.
I’ll check back in during the day with any breaking news, rumors or opinion.