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Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Mock Drafts For Fun Part 2 of 2

This man has since been fired. Don't mess with the NBA Draft

Way back on May 20, the night of the lottery, I did a mock draft. I will now stick to my promise of doing another just before the draft. Obviously things have changed since then. Davon Jefferson, for instance, who I had at No. 24, has apparently gained roughly 65 pounds. And for some reason everyone still hates Chris Douglas-Roberts (I had him No. 14).

I want to do a mock of who I think each team should take but that will be of no help to the poor saps that actually read mock drafts because they think it will tell them who their favorite team will pick. So I'm gonna stick to the rumors I've read and exercise a little of my own judgment where uncertainty lies.

Here we go:

1. Chicago Bulls- Derrick Rose
They will take Rose (probably), although they should not. He will be a very good player, probably an All Star, maybe the PG on a title winner (probably not in Chicago though), but he still doesn't have the potential to be a dominant go-to scorer like Beasley. But he is a professional apparently. He's gonna really add some awesome three-piece suits and sound investment advice to the Bulls.

2. Miami Heat- Michael Beasley
He will more than likely be picked here, but almost certainly not stay in Miami. It appears Riles and Co. have burned too many bridges with this dangerous, SpongeBob-loving, graffiti-proficient, likely-rapist renegade to keep him. From Chicago to Miami to... Minnesota or Memphis or Oklahoma City. He will average and 30 and 15 within 36 months.

3. Minnesota T'Wolves- OJ Mayo
Apparently everyone wants Mayo all of a sudden, which is fine, because he is going to be really good. He should be a top-notch defender and has a chance to be a franchise player. Minnesota should be happy sitting here and taking him. A young core of Mayo, Foye, Brewer, McCants and Jefferson is a really versatile, well-rounded group for the future.

4. Seattle Supersonics- Jerryd Bayless
This is where things get interesting. Seattle should do everything short of trading Jeff Green to get their hands on Mayo or Beasley, but it's probably not going to happen. Chris Wilcox just isn't as attractive as he used to be. If they pick here, it's going to be Bayless, Robin Lopez or Russell Westbrook. The Sonics desperately need backcourt help and even though they should, probably won't draft big and give up on past lotto picks, Nick Collison, Saer Sene, Robert Swift, Johan Petro and the ghost of Shawn Kemp. You could basically flip a coin on Bayless and Westbrook but Bayless would help take the massive scoring load off Kevin Durant's noodle-benching shoulders.

5. Memphis Grizzlies- Brook Lopez
This one is looking like it could go anywhere. The Grizzlies are trying to use this pick, Mike Miller and possibly Mike Conley to move up or trying to pawn off Brian Cardinal's ridiculous, capitalism-hating contract to move down or possibly out of the draft altogether, if the Knicks part with the only player on their team that everyone doesn't hate, David Lee. If they keep it, I've read Lopez or Gordon. For a team utilizing the likes of Lorenzen Wright and Jake Tsakilidis at center in past years, Lopez should work.

More Picks This Way...

6. New York Knicks- Russell Westbrook
I would hate to see Russ go here because I have been touting him since this whole thing started as a top 5 five guy, but apparently the Knicks really like him. Russ is going to be a top-notch on the ball defender in the NBA and if he develops a mid-range jumper will be Monta Ellis-esque (coming from someone who thinks Monta is one of the best 30 players in the L). The Clippers at No. 7 would be a much better fit. In NY, they will make Westbrook play point, rather than have him slashing and beating guys off the dribble. And dunking. Oh how I love it when he dunks.

7. Los Angeles Clippers- Eric Gordon
It would be a worst-case scenario for the Clips if they couldn't swing that Brand for Marion and pick-swap with Miami and Westbrook and Bayless are gone. Especially if Miami pulls the thing where they just take Beasley and see how the rest of the top 7 goes before trying to trade. Under this scenario, Gordon isn't a bad consolation prize. If they can get Shaun Livingston back, Gordon slides in nicely next to him and might not have as many defensive problems. I'm starting to warm on Gordon, the wrist thing and the Sampson thing made it easy to forget he was just as hyped as Love, Beasley and Rose during most of last year.

8. Milwaukee Bucks- Joe Alexander
For whatever reason, everyone has Alexander going here and the Bucks are just the type of team that would take him because it's the easy thing to do. Who cares if they have other mediocre shooting forwards (Villanueva, Jianlian, Redd)? It's Milwaukee, nobody cares! I'm not sold on Alexander, I question how he will be able to score on stronger, faster defenders without great range yet. But the Bucks are the least interesting team in the league...

9. Charlotte Bobcats- Kevin Love
... Barely beating out this team. Apparently the Cats want Lopez or Westbrook, but Love would still fit Larry Brown's desire for "right way" type guys, even if it means shaving his chinstrap. I truly think Love will be a 12 year starter in this league, but Bobcats fans (if they exist) shouldn't expect him to be more than an NBA team's 3rd or 4th best player.

10. New Jersey Nets- Danilo Gallinari
Andy Katz says he heard Gallinari doesn't get past the Nets, and I believe him. Gallinari only wants to play for the Knicks or the Nets, so this appears to be our last chance at seeing a European temper tantrum in the green room. If they don't take him, he at least has this going for him.

11. Indiana Pacers- Brandon Rush
Those 10 seem to be the consensus top 10, in some order. It was a certainty that the Pacers would take either DJ Augustin or Mario Chalmers at 11, until they traded for TJ Ford. Now, who knows? Like Seattle's pick, a lot depends on this one. They almost have to use the No. 17 pick they now have on one of those young bigs that will probably suck (McGee, Jordan, Randolph, Arthur, Speights, Koufos) so filling a need at 2-guard works, especially when it's a guy that can actually defend someone. Rush isn't going to be a franchise guy, but with Ford, Granger, Dunleavy, Rush, Murphy and No. 17 overall, Indiana can at least creep toward .500 this year. Plus, he probably doesn't own any guns!

12. Sacramento Kings- DJ Augustin
The Kings have to love that O'Neal trade, because now Augustin almost definitely is available here. John Salmons and Francisco Garcia are not point guard and Beno Udrih is Beno Udrih. With Kevin Martin and some other hoisters on this team, Augustin can focus on distributing, which is good, because I doubt he can even get a shot off in the NBA.

13. Portland Trailblazers- Darrell Arthur
Now that the Blazers have the No. 27 pick, it seems like this one is more likely to be dealt. They could just take Mario Chalmers here, but he is pretty Jarret Jack-ian. They could also take something called Alexis Ajinca and store him overseas because they have a solid rotation already, but I don't want them to do that. I want them to take Darrell Arthur, who can be their first or second big off the bench.

14. Golden State Warriors- Jason Thompson
Everyone seems to think Thompson is going here and while it's too high for him, I do like him and it would be a good fit. He is ready to contribute and actually has a semblance of a post-game, which is something Golden State needs desperately. Plus he can run decently with this squad, whoever is on the roster next year.

15. Phoenix Suns- Robin Lopez
I guess Phoenix is trying to trade up and are dangling Leandro Barbosa to do so, which means they are serious. If they don't and Brandon Rush isn't available, they should take Lopez who could be a 20-minute guy next year because of Shaq and Amare's defensive woes.

16. Philadelphia 76ers- Marrese Speights
The Sixers are going to go big and as a fan of their up-and-coming team I hope Arthur is the man. But in this scenario he's gone. They will then pick between DeAndre Jordan, Anthony Randolph, Kosta Koufos, Something Called Alexis Ajinca and Speights. Apparently they like Jordan and Ajinca but I like Speights, even though he could be the next Mike Sweetney or the next Elton Brand.

17. Indiana Pacers- DeAndre Jordan
This might be the perfect spot for Jordan, because he would be the only true post scorer for Indiana and could play decent minutes right away. They don't need Koufos or Randolph because they already have a few doughy-soft forwards.

18. Washington Wizards- Kosta Koufos
This is a tough one. Chalmers is a possibility here, as is JJ Hickson who apparently had a good workout there, but you've got to think they go big to possibly replace Antawn Jamison. Koufos doesn't give them the toughness they need down low but the Wizards haven't been tough (besides of course, Tough Juice) for years and everyone else left is pretty soft. I like Koufos a lot offensively and at the very least he could provide scoring off the bench.

19. Cleveland Cavaliers- Donte Greene
Anyone who watched the Celtics-Cavs series last year cringed at how many open shots the Lebronettes missed. Greene, from my beloved Orange, can't really do anything besides shoot right now. Which is fine. They have Lebron James to do all those other things.

20. Charlotte Bobcats- Roy Hibbert
In a sick, twisted way, this works out well for Charlotte. They get the guy they want even though they shouldn't want him. This is going to be a half-court team under Larry Brown so it's actually not a bad fit.

21. New Jersey Nets- Anthony Randolph
The Randolph Green Room Soap Opera ends here. I don't like Randolph and I'm starting to feel bad for him because after his workouts, not many people do either. But he can be a scorer in the league and a shot-blocker if they work with him. Maybe you try to sell Randolph and Sean Williams as the front line of the future. I don't know. The Nets suck.

22. Orlando Magic- Courtney Lee
This team really needs a real two-guard and really needs a real power forward. They also have a chance to compete in the East next year, so they can't just take a spin on the Big Man Wheel of Doom. Lee has had great workouts and the Magic apparently like him (scroll down a bit, Magic fans). Plus he can contribute right away. Well, if the indomitable force that is the Greatest Shooter of All-Time, JJ Redick doesn't eviscerate him in training camp.

23. Utah Jazz- Alexis Ajinca
The Jazz are devastated that the soul-crushing boredom of Roy Hibbert is off the board, so they take a big man with actual athleticism, Something Called Alexis Ajinca. The only reason this guy is being considered up top is apparently because he has long arms (7-foot-9 wingspan). They worked out Serge Ibaka as well, who might not have ever played basketball before. Both worked out this weekend with Utah. The Jazz are already really good so it's tough for them. Do they try to add another rotation player (McGee? CDR?) or do they plan for the future?

24. Seattle Sonics- JaVale McGee
I really don't like McGee. I'm not really sure why anyone would. But a big man must be picked here.

25. Houston Rockets- JJ Hickson
This would work pretty well for both Hickson and the Rockets. Houston is pretty good and have Luis Scola and Carl Landry ahead of Hickson so he can ease his way in. But the Rockets can't advance too far with Scola and Landry as their only power forwards. Hickson is a complete enigma. Lots of talent on a terrible team last year. With good post moves and some range on his jumper, he is exactly what Houston needs... if he's still in the league in three years.

26. San Antonio Spurs- Ryan Anderson
This one is apparently a done deal (go down to the Spurs pick). Another outstanding role player for the Spurs who seem to realize that fitting a need (the outside shooting that will be lost when Horry/Barry/Bowen retire/die) in the draft is a lot more helpful than going for the home run. But then again, what do they know?

27. Portland Trailblazers- Ante Tomic
I have no idea who this guy is but I guess the Blazers like him a lot. This pick, which was acquired from New Orleans for cash, could turn around and be packaged with the No. 13 to move up or get a vet though. Kevin Pritchard is a mad man. Mr. Chad thinks Nicolas Batum and CDR are possibilities too.

28. Memphis Grizzlies- Chris Douglas-Roberts
I think CDR should go much higher, but none of the draftniks agree. Something tells me he actually will go higher than this when all is said and done. The guy can be a great defender, great in transition and should at least be able to get to the foul line in the half-court. Should be a great role player that's drafted way too low.

29. Detroit Pistons- Nicolas Batum
Batum had some heart concerns cleared up, which means this is probably too low for him. He was lottery-projected before the season. Front what I have seen of the guy, he has extreme talent but is raw and still doesn't have complete confidence in his game, which in the NBA Draft is, you know, extremely rare. Detroit can let him develop and then join Rodney Stuckey, Amir Johnson and BabyEater Maxiell in the line-up of the future.

30. Boston Celtics- Mario Chalmers
I don't actually think Chalmers drops this low, especially because he could go as high as No. 12. But he could slip, because as you go further down the draft the teams get better. And, shockingly, better teams generally have good point guards. The Celtics don't have a back-up point guard and would cream their jeans if Chalmers lands here. If so, fuck Boston.

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