The 2007 Draft, following a down year, brings us back to the star power and depth we are used to seeing. It also brings us to the point in our reviews where it is becoming hard to judge the overall talent in a particular draft; the players in question from this point onward still have much to prove, and a lot can change in the next few years. Still, we can hopefully gain a pretty accurate picture from the information we already have.
So far there have been three players from 2007 who have made the All-Star team: Kevin Durant (picked #2), Al Horford (#3) and Marc Gasol (#48.) Joakim Noah (#9) seems like a serious candidate to join that group soon.
This draft, for good or bad, is best remembered for the debate as to who should be picked first. Greg Oden and Kevin Durant were both deemed worthy of the #1 pick. Oden ended up being selected first, and has had his career absolutely decimated by injuries. As we have seen with other highly regarded prospects like Jay Williams and Shaun Livingston, significant injuries can essentially end a career before it ever gets going. Unfortunately this seems to be the case with Oden, and he is another serious reminder that injuries can take down even the most sought-after amateur players.
Durant, of course, ended up going second and being great. He is far superior to anyone else in this draft. Hortford was an excellent selection at #3, and Mike Conley was a solid pick at #4. Jeff Green has yet to live up to expectations as the #5 pick.
Noah (#9) and Thaddeus Young (#12) are the other lottery selections that have had strong careers so far. Meanwhile the second half of the first round in 2007 had many good value picks: Rodney Stuckey (#15), Jared Dudley (#22), Aaron Brooks (#26), Arron Afflalo (#27) and Tiago Splitter (#28) stand out as solid selections.
Almost nobody expected Marc Gasol to end up being anything close to an All-Star, and he has vastly exceeded expectations by being the best selection of the second round, and a truly great late pick. Carl Landry was the other superb second round pick from 2007 at #31.
Additional second rounders worth noting are Glen Davis at #35 and Ramon Sessions at #56. Both were very nice selections at their slots. Gary Neal, as an undrafted player from 2007, also is worth noticing.
So this year has good depth, and high caliber players were available throughout most of the draft. A rough approximation the top ten players from 2007, with their actual pick number in parenthesis:
1. Kevin Durant (2)
2. Al Horford (3)
3. Marc Gasol (48)
4. Joakim Noah (9)
5. Carl Landry (31)
6. Mike Conley (4)
7. Thaddeus Young (12)
8. Arron Afflalo (27)
9. Jared Dudley (22)
10. Tiago Splitter (28)