Tuesday, February 26, 2008

NBA Mock Draft: Version 1.1

Earlier this month, Clement offered his inaugural 2008 NBA Mock Draft. For this mock draft, I am taking records as of games ending on Saturday, February 23, 2008. Like Clement, I am also going to have to assume several underclassmen and international talent are going to declare early for the draft. This will be a one-round mock draft and it shall be lots of fun.

If you have props, criticisms or concerns, I can take all three. Remember the Villanova fiasco? Neither do I. Let’s mock it up!

1) Miami – Michael Beasley [PF, Kansas State, Freshman]
Beasley is the best player overall and an immediate upgrade over Udonis Haslem and provides toughness down low for the putrid Heat. He’s a double-double waiting to happen, and he’ll revitalize the hopes of Dwyane Wade and Shawn Marion.

2) Minnesota – Brook Lopez [C, Stanford, Sophomore]
Not ready to give up on Randy Foye at the point, Minnesota has a larger, immediate need in the middle. While Al Jefferson is a great option on offense, Brook Lopez solidifies the middle with his stellar defensive prowess.

3) Memphis – Eric Gordon [SG, Indiana, Freshman]
If I were Grizzlies GM Chris Wallace, I’d seriously consider trading down. If forced to pick, DeAndre Jordan is not even close to a sure thing and Memphis drafted Mike Conley Jr. last season, so the Grizz will go with Gordon and seek to move Mike Miller [again, and maybe not with Brian Cardinal].

4) Seattle – Derrick Rose [PG, Memphis, Freshman]
All Seattle draft jokes aside, they will not take a center not named Brook Lopez if they are selecting in the top 5, because no one has else separated themselves yet. Rose is perhaps the most talented player in the draft and the type of player that makes the SuperSonics a candidate to make the playoffs.

5) New York – Jerryd Bayless [PG, Arizona, Freshman]
When defining team needs, I came to the conclusion that the Knicks need heart. Unfortunately, Shane Falco did not declare for the 2008 NBA Draft. For all the guards that the Knicks have, they lack a true point. Bayless fills that need and should start by mid-season.

6) Charlotte – Hasheem Thabeet [C, Connecticut, Sophomore]
Michael Jordan rarely makes sense with his personnel moves. The idea of two shot blockers seems tantalizing and that’s before you even factor Gerald Wallace. Thabeet has made a name for himself by improving his footwork on the offensive side.

7) Los Angeles Clippers – OJ Mayo [PG/SG, USC, Freshman]
Right now, any pick is a good one for the Clippers. OJ Mayo is the most talented player remaining on the board and gives the Clips some immediate scoring punch. His ability to play both guards allows for flexibility when negotiating with both Corey Maggette and Shawn Livingston. DJ Augustin may get a look-see if the Clippers decide to select a true point guard.

8) Milwaukee – DeAndre Jordan [C, Texas A&M, Freshman]
Approaching the end of the top ten, the Bucks need a defensive presence inside (sorry, Dan Gadzuric). With Hibbert’s 1-on-1 defensive skills called into question, the Bucks go with Jordan, who has drawn Dwight Howard comparisons.

9) Indiana – DJ Augustin [PG, Texas, Sophomore]
When Jamaal Tinsley was healthy this season, the Pacers were in playoff contention. Augustin shores up a major concern, but will need to get stronger in order to face the rigors of the NBA schedule.

10) Chicago – Blake Griffin [PF, Oklahoma, Freshman]
If John Paxson is to land Griffin, he will do backflips. That’s because Griffin is the low-post scoring threat that the Bulls have been dying for. With underrated athleticism, he is most recognized for his ability to never give up on a rebound.

Griffin: The man-crush will spread across Chi-town if Pax gets his way.

Credit: All Sport Live

11) Phoenix [from Atlanta] – Donte Greene [SF, Syracuse, Freshman]
The natural replacement to Shawn Marion, Donte Greene can step and out take the three with no one able to contest his 6’10” frame. Greene will need to become a better defender in order to win minutes and a ticket to Mike D’Antoni’s infamous eight-man rotation.

12) Sacramento– Nicholas Batum [SG/SF, France, International]
The agile and skilled Batum steps in for the soon-to-be departed Ron Artest, who has a player option. As a player who’s been known to let the game come to him, Batum will place his stamp upon the Kings without taking shots away from Kevin Martin.

13) Portland – Danilo Gallinari [SF, Italy, International]
With depth across the board and talent waiting in the wings, the Blazers continue to place the building blocks for a championship by selecting Gallinari. The Italian can play the 1,2 and 3 positions, and provides mismatches with his 6’9” 210-pound frame. Gallinari is a great shooter and intangibly gifted, but must improve his defense.

14) Denver – Darren Collison [PG, UCLA, Junior]
This is fairly obvious. Collison is a tenacious defender with tremendous ball-handling skills. Denver needs both ... badly.

15) Philadelphia – Roy Hibbert [C, Georgetown, Senior]
At long last, the first senior is selected, as the 76ers are growing frustrated with Samuel Dalembert’s continuing inconsistency. Hibbert offers size in the middle and a growing offensive game. Immediately, Hibbert can play 18-27 minutes for Philadelphia and gives a great outlet to Andre Miller and Lou Williams.

16) New Jersey – Darrell Arthur [PF, Kansas, Sophomore]
Despite the improved play of Josh Boone and trading for Stromile Swift, the Nets remain very weak down low. Darrell Arthur can post up, hit the mid-range jumper and run the floor with fluidity. Arthur may need to add 10 pounds, but he is near NBA-ready.

17) Washington – Kevin Love [PF, UCLA, Freshman]
Love is in the air and in the paint. Somewhere, Tim Brando is angry that I stole a cheesy line from his arsenal. With a need at the point should Arenas seek greener pastures in the summer, the Wizards should heavily consider selecting Ty Lawson or Kyle Weaver with a good ball-handler and a superb defender. Love’s strength and post-up skills will immediately gain minutes.

18) Toronto – Tyler Smith [SF, Tennessee, Sophomore]
The wiry Smith has a sickening level of athleticism. Strong and aggressive, Smith also fits the Raptors style of running the floor. To stay on the floor, Smith will need to reduce the turnovers and remember that he’s facing professionals.

19) Cleveland – Tywon Lawson [PG, North Carolina, Sophomore]
Finally, Cleveland selects a true point guard who can contribute immediately. The speedy Lawson can dissect defenses and stop on a dime to hit a 15-foot jumpshot.

20) Golden State – Chase Budinger [SF, Arizona, Sophomore]
Upset that Tyler Smith is off the board, the Warriors go with Mr. Instant Offense, Chase Budinger. Since the arrival of Kevin O’Neill to Arizona, Budinger’s defense has seen marked improvement.

21) Orlando – Kyle Weaver [SG/PG, Washington St., Senior]
One of my favorite college basketball players, Weaver is one of the nation’s best on-the-ball defenders. He’s a good ball-handler with an improving shot, to boot. That skill set makes him a perfect fit for a team that has lost all hope in Mr. Better Basketball himself, JJ Redick.

22) Houston – Tyler Hansbrough [PF, North Carolina, Junior]
At the 22nd pick, Houston has a myriad of choices on whom to add inside. Like Carl Landry last year, Houston takes the proven commodity in Psycho T. In the last two months, critics of Hansbrough have seen a more diversified game, but something remains left to be desired on defense.

23) New Jersey [from Dallas] – Brandon Rush [SG, Kansas, Junior]
Despite a junior season that has seen only a few ups, Rush is one of the most balanced and skilled players in the nation. Perhaps, Rush isn’t back to 100% following knee surgery, but he will impress at the pre-draft workouts.

24) New Orleans – Patrick Patterson [PF, Kentucky, Freshman]
The New Orleans Hornets are only as good as how they will react to their next unanticipated injury. By that operationalized definition of good, then the Hornets are not, so they will add beef to the middle in the form of Patterson. The freshman is limited around the perimeter, but has a NBA body at age 18.

25) Seattle [from Phoenix] – Richard Hendrix [PF, Alabama, Junior]
Having added Derrick Rose early, the focus shifts to the PF/C position. Tired of selecting project-type bigs, Richard Hendrix has proven himself in the SEC. Hendrix possesses a great deal of strength with solid post moves.

26) Philadelphia [from Utah] – Bill Walker [SF, Kansas State, Freshman]
A true upside pick, Philadelphia cannot lay off of Bill Walker, who has exhibited explosiveness in spite of knee problems. A great security blanket for the possible exit of Andre Iguodala, Walker still needs to improve on his jumpshot and maturity.

27) San Antonio – Ryan Anderson [SF/PF, California, Sophomore]
Set at the PF, SG and PG positions, the Spurs have gone the project center route selecting Mahinmi and Splitter in recent years. At 6’10”, Anderson presents serious matchup problems and is very effective when facing the basket. Critics of Anderson have pointed out a lack of foot speed and the need to upper body strength as weaknesses of his overall game.

28) Memphis [from Los Angeles Lakers] – DJ White [PF, Indiana, Senior]
Part of the Gasol thievery, Memphis will need to address the PF position while staying within Marc Iavaroni’s system. Enter DJ White, another Hoosier. The senior plays with enormous energy and passion for the game. White’s leaping ability and wingspan make him an attractive proposition for the Grizzlies; however, he must prove that he can stay healthy.

29) Detroit – Jason Thompson [PF, Rider, Senior]
Averaging a double-double for the last two seasons, Thompson’s productivity has not dropped off against BCS-school opponents. Thompson’s terrific foot speed allows him to hold his own on the perimeter on both ends of the floor.

30) Boston – James Harden [SG/SF, Arizona State, Freshman]
At pick 30, the Boston Celtics surprisingly have a great deal of options. They can go with a more experienced player like Chris Douglas-Roberts or go big with either AJ Ogilvy, Kosta Koufos or Davon Jefferson. Harden is explosive and can contribute as immediately as any one-year player not drafted in the top seven could.

And, that is a wrap! Inexplicably absent from this mock draft are international names like Serge Ibaka, Alexis Ajinca, Semih Erden, Ante Tomic and Omer Asik. Domestically, the likes of CDR, Ogilvy, Koufos, Wayne Ellington and Jamont Gordon can break into the first round.



ThatKid said...

You said New York needs a true point. Well, they definitely won't find one in Jerryd Bayless. This kid averages 20 a game. There won't be enough basketballs to go around. The Knicks would be ludacrous if they took Bayless or Mayo at this spot. However, if my some miracle Derrick Rose is still left at pick #5, he'd would be perfect. He is, at times, too unselfish, and I think an unselfish point guard is just what New York needs.

Also, I like the thought of DWade, Marion, and Beasley all in Miami in 3 or 4 years.

Paymon said...

The Knicks badly need a PG. I admit, you're right about Bayless, but ludicrous is a strong word.

I've seen Bayless enough to know that he can distribute the rock. Lately, none of his teammates have been able to hit the side of a barn. As a result, his scoring results have been eye-popping.

Agreed on Rose and NY's needs. He's #2 on my big board after Beasley, so there's no chance right now that the Knicks would get him.

Drew said...

i like this draft seattle picking up rose would be killer in 3 or 4 years with durant and green three headed dragon since lopez stock is rising and jefferson and lopez could be a great center peice

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