I have been meaning to do this since the 2008 draft lottery, but just haven’t gotten around to it. Now with less than a month to go I figured why not now. This is my mock draft, who I think will fit the best with each team, not who necessarily will be taken. We all know GM’s and their propensity to screw this up.
1. Chicago Bulls – Derrick Rose: Even with Kirk Hinrich’s absurd contract the Bulls should select Rose with the first pick. His skills and size are uncomparable and already has the leadership qualities that any team, especially the Bulls should be looking for. The NBA is turning into a guard first league and in my opinion you can’t pass up on a sure thing (ex. Chris Paul)
2. Miami Heat – Michael Beasley: The Heat want to pair Rose up with Wade, but with him already off the board they have to take the next sure thing. Beasley has the size and athletic ability to play both the center and power forward position. A big upgrade over Udonis Haslem
3. Minnesota Timberwolves – Brook Lopez: Minnesota needs a center. So they take Lopez here and move Al Jefferson back to his natural power forward position. There are better players with higher upside (OJ Mayo), but those players duplicate what they already have.
4. Seattle Supersonics – Jerryd Bayless: Sonics need backcourt help and they take the explosive Arizona guard. He has a better shooting touch than Mayo and from what I have seen in college can definitely handle the point as well.
5. Memphis Grizzlies – Anthony Randolph: In desperate need of an inside presence down low, they take Randolph from LSU. The power forward is long and displays great athleticism in the open court. Although not ready to be a impact player at the moment, he can and will be a great fit for a young and athletic Memphis team.
6. New York Knicks – OJ Mayo: With every expert saying the Knicks will take Danilo Gallinari, I believe they have to take the best available. That being Mayo, who I believe to be the third best talent in the draft. He is just like Bayless, but I believe in the long run will be better. He has the size and quickness to play both guard positions and will be a lockdown type of defender. The fans at the Garden will be happy.
7. Los Angeles Clippers – DJ Augustin: They need a lot of help, but their biggest need is at PG. Augustin might be a reach here, but he can run the point and hit the open jump shot. A little small for his size, but his quickness makes up for some of that. Great character
8. Milwaukee Bucks – Eric Gordon: The Bucks take the best available. He might have to play some point, but has the talent to be a big time scorer. If it wasn’t for the late season slump and wrist injury we could have seen Gordon go much earlier.
9. Charlotte Bobcats – Kevin Love: Larry Brown loves guys ready to play now. Love is the most NBA ready player left. Very intelligent and has great passing ability. There are younger talents, but with a rotation of Okafor, May, and Love you have a young and dangerous frontcourt.
10. New Jersey Nets – Danilo Gallinari: In the post Jason Kidd era, the Nets will like to get younger. Who better than a 19 year old. He has a high basketball IQ and can play both 3, maybe 4 positions. Handles the ball like a point guard. Will fit in well as the Nets will try to make a move with Richard Jefferson this summer.
11. Indian Pacers – Russell Westbrook: Larry Bird will look to replace Jamaal Tinsley and with Augustin off the board, they go with the next best PG. Lockdown defender with great length. With the ball, has a great crossover and goes to the rim hard. Midrange game is great, but might be like Rajon Rondo and need to improve the outside jumper
12. Sacramento Kings – DeAndre Jordan: Big man with a lot of upside. Has that Dwight Howard type athleticism and has the body to add some bulk to it. At 7 feet tall, you can’t blame the Kings if they took a chance on him.
13. Portland Trailblazers – Joe Alexander: His shooting ability will help spread the floor for Brandon Roy and the other perimeter players. Also another kickout guy Greg Oden will have when he starts getting double teamed in the post. Has a high motor and great work ethic.
14. Golden State Warriors – Darrell Arthur: In a mold of what Don Nelson looks for he takes an athletic big guy. Runs the floor well and can hit the mid range jumper.
So there you have it, hopefully I have a better percentage than Mel Kiper or Todd McShay.