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What they're saying about Syracuse's Donte Greene
Towson Catholic alumnus and Syracuse standout Donte Greene is a likely first-round pick in Thursday night's NBA draft. Here's where several mock draft experts think Greene will be picked and what they're saying about his draft status:
• ESPN's Chad Ford: No. 25 to the Houston Rockets.
This seems like an unbelievable fall for a player with as much upside as Donte' Greene. Indeed, teams like the Kings and Warriors will look at him in the lottery, and likewise for the Raptors in the mid-first round. But if he slips past them, he could be on a free fall. He's a great shooter with upside, but he's not ready yet.
• SI.com's Ian Thomsen: No. 13 to the Portland Trail Blazers.
Do they dare take Serge Ibaka this high? Instead, they grab this athletic frontcourt shooter who was coveted by the Warriors.
• Thomsen also interviewed several general managers, one of whom picked Greene as a "dark horse" in the upcoming draft:
"If we were picking in the upper middle of the lottery -- I'm talking about picks 3-4-5 -- I would be looking at this guy. He has to get bigger and stronger. But he is a face-up 4 with a stroke, a shooter. I'm not a big fan of the combo guards in the draft, and I think Greene will turn out to be better than any of them -- [O.J.] Mayo, [Jerryd] Bayless, [Eric] Gordon, [Russell] Westbrook.''
• The Sporting News' Sam Smith: No. 17 to the Toronto Raptors.
While they're reportedly working on a trade to acquire Jermaine O'Neal for T.J. Ford, they're said to be wowed by Greene.
• The Sporting News' Nathaniel Friedman: No. 17 to the Raptors.
What? Did someone say raw, potential-laden, versatile big man with range and athleticism? Even if Greene never pans out, he can moonlight as the Raptors' new mascot. Or come into camp to motivate Andrea Bargnani, who will think he's being dumped.
• Fox Sports via NBADraft.net: No. 14 to the Golden State Warriors.
While Greene is unlikely to see much action in Nellie's system right away, such is the case for nearly any rookie. With Al Harrington's disappearance and Stephen Jackson's erratic play, Greene would be the perfect scorer to develop at the SF position in Oaktown.
• CBS Sports' Kerry Eggers: No. 16 to the Philadelphia 76ers.
The Sixers' biggest need is at power forward and Greene, a combo guy, seems more of a "3" than a "4." But he's the best talent remaining, and that will influence Philly brass to call his number.
• CBS Sports' Jeff Reynolds: No. 13 to the Blazers.
The Blazers are candidates to move up -- way up -- because the roster is a virtual smorgasbord of soon-to-be studs. But if the price is too high, they can hold steady and take a stab at one of the draft's boom-or-bust prospects. If Greene takes off during his first contract, the 6-10 forward makes a talent-rich team richer.
• NBC Sports' Ray Glier: No. 14 to the Warriors.
Green [sic] averaged 20 points a game during Syracuse's last seven games, and went for 17.7 points and 7.2 rebounds per game over the season. He has a lot of different shots in his game, which includes three-pointers, some post-up stuff, and mid-range jumpers. The issue is going to be teaching him some shot selection. It's not good when a player who is 6-10 shoots 133 free throws and 261 three-pointers. Is he coachable?
[Compiled by Kyle Goon]