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Notes from Mock Draft Central

Mock Draft Central currently has data from 32 qualifying NBA-type mock drafts between 10/04/2010 and 10/18/2010.

While this doesn't necessarily provide enough meaningful data to make definitive statements about changes in average draft position (ADP), there is something for which it's useful – namely, to look at players with a great deal of range between their earliest and latest selections. From this information, we can attempt to understand why owners might have such varying opinions about said players.

Below, you'll find five players with considerable range between their earliest and latest draft places. I've determined "range" by subtracting a player's earliest draft place from his latest, and then dividing the difference by said player's ADP. This way we get not just a "raw" difference (i.e. the difference between earliest and latest) but also the size of that difference relative to how sought-after a player is. Which is to say, the difference between the fifth- and 20th-overall selections is more significant than the 140th and 155th. Furthermore, for those players who've gone undrafted in mock drafts, I've counted that as the 160th-overall pick.

After that, I've provided some of the white-hot commentary that America has come to expect from Carson "Ahead of His Time" Cistulli.

Blam:

Player:Boris Diaw, Charlotte
Earliest/Latest/Percent: 89/142/57.4|PERCENT|
White-Hot Commentary:Boris Diaw has a little bit of a Mike Miller thing going on, in that he contributes enough in so many categories that doesn't need to score to be useful. The problem for 2010-11, however, will be playing time. Stephen Jackson and Gerald Wallace are going to – in the parlance of our forefathers – are going to "get theirs." And then there's the presence of Tyrus Thomas to worry about. All told, I'm thinking he's not a top-100 pick currently.

Player:Antawn Jamison, Cleveland
Earliest/Latest/Percent: 38/56/45.4|PERCENT|
White-Hot Commentary: One thing to say about Jamison is that he's always gonna be more valuable in nine-category leagues, on account of he doesn't so much turn the ball over relative to how much he scores. So that's one thing. Of course, what owners don't know right now is what sort of role Jamison will take with the post-LeBron Cavs. Me? I'd pick him closer to 38 than 56. He scores, he rebounds, he'll play big minutes. His free-throw percentage last season (64.7|PERCENT|) was junky, but is also almost 10|PERCENT| lower than his career mark.

Player:Roy Hibbert, Indiana
Earliest/Latest/Percent: 88/145/43.7|PERCENT|
White-Hot Commentary: Hibbert averaged 14.4 minutes per game in the 2008-09 season; last year, that number jumpted to 25.1 minutes. That was enough to make him a rosterable player, as his block numbers (1.6 per game) were considerably above average. This year, he's almost sure to play at least 30 minutes per game. If I might be perfectly honest with you – and I think we've reached that point in our relationship, reader – I actually probably value Hibbert as better than 88th overall. Not much better, but better.

Player:Al Jefferson, Utah
Earliest/Latest/Percent: 25/37/35.5|PERCENT|
White-Hot Commentary: Twelve spots is actually kinda alot in this area of the draft – in this case, the difference between the very beginning of the third, versus the fourth, round. So which is Jefferson? Well, here's one thing to consider: his per-game values for the three seasons before last year went like this (starting with 2006-07): 53, 39, 14. Last year, he regressed to this 2006-07 ranking, but he was also recovering from knee surgery. If forced to choose, I'd say that – with the combination of steady minutes (say 35 or so per game) and the positive influence of Deron Williams and Utah's generally fluid passing game – I'd say Jefferson finishes closer to 25th overall this season.

Player:Ben Gordon, Detroit
Earliest/Latest/Percent: 91/124/35.0|PERCENT|
White-Hot Commentary: If, for some weird reason, someone came up to me and was all, "I need a three-pointer hit right now," I'd probably suggest that Ben Gordon take said three-pointer. I mean, there are other guys I'd consider, too – Jason Kapono, Ray Allen, Stephen Curry – but Gordon and his 40.4|PERCENT| career three-point mark would definitely be on the list. Nor is Gordon merely an accurate shooter; he can score in volume, as well. The problem with Gordon – the present incarnation of Gordon – is two-fold. For one, his defense (and lack thereof) will always probably limit his playing time. For two, there are like seventy wing players currently on Detroit's payroll. Will Bynum, Austin Daye, Richard Hamilton, Tracy McGrady, Tayshaun Prince, and Rodney Stuckey are all looking for minutes, too. As a result, Gordon's unlikely to average much more than 30 minutes per game, relegating him to something more like a 120th- or 130th-type pick.