NOTE: This version of the mock draft projects potential trades.
* New Orleans trades the 27th pick to Portland for cash considerations
* Miami trades the 2nd pick and the rights to Mark Blount to Seattle for the 4th and 24th picks and the rights to Luke Ridnour.
* Charlotte trades the 9th pick to Sacramento for 12th and 43rd picks and cash considerations.
* Portland trades the 13th pick and rights to Martell Webster and Channing Frye to Memphis for Mike Miller.
* Portland trades the 55th pick to Philadelphia for cash considerations.
* Seattle trades the 56th pick to Atlanta for cash considerations.
* Detroit trades the 59th pick to New York for cash considerations.
1. Chicago. Derrick Rose, PG, Memphis. I think we’ve heard enough about this. Did you know Rose was from Chicago? Ben Gordon will love this pick. Kirk Hinrich won’t.
2. Seattle (from Miami). Michael Beasley, SF/PF, Kansas State. With Pat Riley’s ambivalence about Beasley mixed with the Heat having multiple holes to address (PG, PF, C) and only one pick in the top 50, this trade makes some sense. Beasley is a much stronger fit in Seattle’s plans.
3. Minnesota. OJ Mayo, SG/PG, USC. Mayo is now the consensus third pick among the experts. Yes, I’m gloating, because the real media is now saying what I’ve said for months. Mayo realized he had teammates and started distributing the rock, and he got tougher on defense.
4. Miami (from Seattle). Brook Lopez, C, Stanford. Riles can thank me later for these amazing ideas. Lopez is an inside scoring threat who may have some defensive holes in his game. Without his twin brother (Robin), Brook may struggle. Not to mention, he’s playing the pros, and there’s this thing called defensive 3 seconds. Without a trade happening, Lopez may fall to the 9th pick.
5. Memphis. Kevin Love, PF, UCLA. If no trades happen with this pick, Love should be the guy at #5. Rated #12 on my big board, I’m not in love with this pick (no pun intended). Trading this pick for David Lee and other pieces is a stronger proposition.
6. New York. Russell Westbrook, PG, UCLA. Though I think Augustin is the better pick, Westbrook’s versatility and defensive skills make him a great pick here. Bayless is an amazing talent, but it was determined rather early that he’d be a bad fit here by numerous sources.
7. LA Clippers. Eric Gordon, SG, Indiana. Barring a trade with the Phoenix Suns sending Corey Maggette and this pick for Leandro Barbosa and the 15th pick, Gordon is their guy. He’s just too good to pass up.
8. Milwaukee. Joe Alexander, SF, West Virginia. The athletic Alexander provides a multi-faceted player who is a very good team defender and an explosive scorer.
9. Sacramento (from Charlotte). Jerryd Bayless, PG/SG, Arizona. If Bayless falls this far, which he likely will not, some team will jump back into the top 10 for his services.
10. New Jersey. Danilo Gallinari, SF, Armani Jeans Milano. Last week, the rumor mill dictated that unless the Italian received a Top 10 promise, he’d be opting out of the draft. He stayed in. Not to mention, he can drive to the hoop and shoot.
11. Indiana. DJ Augustin, PG, Texas. Augustin is a floor general that the Pacers badly need. His game has limitations due to his size, but at the end of the day, he makes his teammates better.
12. Charlotte (from Sacramento). Darrell Arthur, PF, Kansas. Arthur provides athleticism, size and discipline. Arthur will need to work on consistency in order to see the floor. Do not be shocked one bit if the ‘Cats trade this pick for a veteran.
13. Memphis (from Portland). Brandon Rush, SG, Kansas. Exit Miller. Enter Rush. Brandon has quieted the critics and demonstrated the excellence that many expected three years ago when he was trying to decide whether to forgo college.
14. Golden State. Kosta Koufos, C, Ohio State. There’s a lot of bust potential here, but Koufos could be a major boon given his style for Team Uncertainty.
15. Phoenix (from Atlanta). Anthony Randolph, SF, LSU. Following their most recent ouster from the playoffs, the Suns need a defense-first player with the length to disrupt passing lanes and create mismatches.
16. Philadelphia. Marreese Speights, PF, Florida. The Sixers are in sore need of a scoring big. If they do not pull a trade for Josh Smith, Speights will be a part of the path they travel.
17. Toronto. Nicolas Batum, SG, Le Mans. There is a dearth of playmakers for the Raptors, so Batum fills a huge gap. Admittedly, I was scared when reading about his heart problems, but he has checked out fine.
18. Washington. Robin Lopez, C, Stanford. Robin, the more agile of the Lopez twins, will do three things well: play defense, alter shots and rebound.
19. Cleveland. Roy Hibbert, C, Georgetown. After giving up millions of dollars to return to school, Hibbert adds scoring punch and can alter shots in the lane. Though more polished than some of his colleagues, Hibbert still needs to work on his footwork and add imagination to his game.
20. Denver. Mario Chalmers, PG, Kansas. A cagy on-the-ball defender, Chalmers is equally excellent in terms of anticipation. Though not a true PG, Chalmers has demonstrated the aptitude to lead a team in workouts.
21. New Jersey (from Dallas). Jason Thompson, PF, Rider. Thompson averaged 20 points and 10 rebounds for little-known Rider during his junior and senior year. Thompson’s biggest transition will go from being the man to being a role player.
22. Orlando. Courtney Lee, SG, Western Kentucky. This is the first reach of the draft; however, Lee fills a major team need at shooting guard and can push for the starting job immediately.
23. Utah. DeAndre Jordan, C, Texas A&M. Despite struggling in early workouts, Jordan is a talent and has an NBA-ready body. All he needs now is an NBA-ready mind and all that comes with it.
24. Miami (from Phoenix via Seattle). JaVale McGee, C, Nevada. After free-falling due to maturity issues, Miami latches onto its second big. McGee provides the defensive spark that Lopez may still yearn for.
25. Houston. Alexis Ajinca, C/PF, HTV Hyeres-Toulon. Ajinca provides the agility and length to alter shots and rebound effectively. He is still getting accustomed to the game and has little to no offensive game despite some excellent workouts. During the workouts, scouts have been wowed his Ajinca’s work ethic and a number of mock drafts have him going 13th to Portland!
26. San Antonio. Donte Greene, SF, Syracuse. Another free faller due to being an upside guy. Greene may go 11 picks higher or up to five picks lower. With the right coach and the necessary work ethic, he could be a major contributor by January.
27. Portland (from New Orleans). Serge Ibaka, PF/C, L’ Hospitalet. Per Aran Smith of NBADraft.net, Ibaka is a “tremendous athlete blessed with insane length and leaping ability” who “conjures up memories of Shawn Kemp”. An impressive YouTube video montage was supplemented by earning MVP honors at Eurocamp. With solid footwork, an existing jumpshot (great form to boot) and an awesome work ethic, Ibaka is much further along than many other project bigs.
28. Memphis (from LA Lakers). JJ Hickson, PF, NC State. Hickson’s talent is unquestioned. His ability to mesh with other talented players is.
29. Detroit. Bill Walker, SG/SF, Kansas State. Walker should have returned to school, but he did not. Walker can be a star in this league and the Pistons realize that.
30. Boston. Chris Douglas-Roberts, SG, Memphis. At the 30th pick, CDR is a steal. Though he has had difficulty adding weight, CDR can get to the line via the mismatches he creates in addition to his ability to score off the dribble. His long arms can disrupt passing lanes as well.
31. Minnesota (from Miami). Nikola Pekovic, PF, Partizan Belgrade. A back to the basket player, Pekovic has demonstrated explosiveness near the rim. To round out his game, he will need to work on his jumpshot.
32. Seattle. Nathan Jawai, PF/C, Cairns Taipans. After selecting OJ Mayo, the Wolves set their sights on Nathan Jawal, an Australian big who actually enjoys getting physical. Like most aggressive players, Jawal will need to refine much of his game while continuing to learn the game.
33. Portland (from Memphis). DJ White, PF, Indiana. This pick is likely for someone else. White has 1st-round talent, but has had numerous injuries. He’s our best player available at this point.
34. Minnesota. Omer Asik, C, Fenerbache Ulker. Asik is a 7’0” in the truest sense (physical, active, long reach). Additionally, he’s athletic. He has plenty of room for improvement on offense, but is improving. Discussions of a five-year extension with his current team may scuttle draft prospects.
35. LA Clippers. Kyle Weaver, PG/SG, Washington State. One of the headiest players in the draft pool, Weaver is a tenacious defender. He will need to refine his offensive game if he wants to be the man down the stretch. His ball-handling skills allow for him to be an effective point guard who can cause matchup problems due to his height.
36. Portland (from New York). DeVon Hardin, PF, California. Hardin adds a defensive-minded who requires few shots to be effective. His ability to play solid defense without taking too many chances is attractive to many teams. The Blazers may actually hang onto this pick.
37. Milwaukee. Joey Dorsey, PF/C, Memphis. In an effort to toughen up the frontline, the Bucks take Dorsey, who will outhustle and outmuscle most opponents. However, his offensive game outside of three foot is limited to non-existent.
38. Charlotte. Goran Dragic, PG, Union Olimpija. A tall point, Dragic is no stranger to the lane and scores most of his points there. He has been considered unselfish to a fault and the Slovenian likely needs a couple more seasons in Europe.
39. Chicago. Ryan Anderson, SF/PF, California. Though he may not slip this far, Anderson is a proven scorer with an inside/outside game.
40. New Jersey. Jamont Gordon, SG/PG, Mississippi State. You have to love versatility to make this pick. Gordon is a grinder who’s tough and gives you a tougher option at the point.
41. Indiana. Richard Hendrix, PF, Alabama. It’s time for the Pacers to add some muscle. Hendrix lacks overall speed, but he makes up for it with physicality and basketball wherewithal.
42. Sacramento (from Atlanta). George Hill, PG, IUPUI. Hill is fundamentally sound and knows how to play bigger than his size. Additionally, Hill was rumored to have received a promise to be drafted. Even if Beno Udrih is re-signed, this is a good pick.
43. Charlotte (from Sacramento). Semih Erden, C, Fenerbahce Ulker. A pure seven footer, Erden has athleticism and lateral quickness to match his size; however, Erden needs vast improvement in the defense and rebounding departments.
44. Utah (from Philadelphia). Luc Richard Mbah a Moute, SF, UCLA. The Prince’s ability to hustle and defend up to three positions makes him the perfect Jerry Sloan Pick.
45. San Antonio (from Toronto). Gary Forbes, SG, Massachusetts. Throughout his collegiate career, Forbes increased his basketball IQ and consistency. At 6’6” and 220 pounds, Forbes will have a size advantage over most shooting guards and be comparable to most small forwards. Also, he is very coachable, which is an attractive proposition for Pop.
46. Seattle (from Portland via Boston). Ante Tomic, PF/C, KK Zagreb. Though skilled in the post, Tomic has a frail body and can be taken advantage of. His ability to become stronger will define his career.
47. Washington. Walter Sharpe, PF, UAB. I’m no genius, but I read on multiple rumor boards that Washington invited him back for a 2nd workout. That’s enough to think a promise may be in place.
48. Phoenix (from Cleveland). Trent Plaisted, PF/C, BYU. In the current Warriors system, Plaisted’s athletic ability and face-up game make him a fantastic fit. Could be a 10-year veteran role player in the league.
49. Golden State. Davon Jefferson, SF, USC. Jefferson is an athletically gifted player but lacks the functional skills (shooting, dribbling) to dominate. Jefferson can be an energy guy for any roster in the very least and can become a star if he works on shooting and dribbling. The open court system should suit Jefferson.
50. Seattle (from Denver). Will Daniels, SF, Rhode Island. Daniels is a basketball player with great hands. He knows his strengths and exerts effort at all times. On the flipside, Daniels has the tendency to get into foul trouble and take bad shots. At the end of the day, the Sonics are probably drafting for someone else.
51. Dallas. Josh Duncan, PF/SF, Xavier. Duncan is an agile, versatile forward who is very tough. Critics say Duncan lacks upside, but he’s a winner who is fundamentally sound. Dallas may also reach for a center.
52. Miami (from Orlando). Damjan Rudez, SF, KK Split. Admittedly, I know very little about Rudez, other than that he has recently shot up draft charts. He’s 6’10” and only 200 pounds, so adding weight is a necessity. Otherwise, he’s very skilled, athletic and plays with moxie.
53. Utah. Mike Taylor, PG/SG, Idaho Stampede. Taylor has impressed in workouts and he is the best point guard remaining on the board.
54. Houston. Sonny Weems, SG, Arkansas. A very good shooter who can slash to the basket, Weems is only starting to show his ball skills. To stay on the floor, he must reduce turnovers and become efficient.
55. Philadelphia (from Phoenix via Portland). Shan Foster, SG, Vanderbilt. You can never have enough shooters and that’s exactly what Foster is. Do not be surprised at all if Foster goes up to 15 picks earlier.
56. Atlanta (from New Orleans via Seattle). JR Giddens, SG, New Mexico. Athletic and explosive, Giddens can only be held back by himself. Shot selection and decision making has long plagued the guard. If he becomes more coachable, he could be a starter in the Association.
57. San Antonio. Drew Neitzel, PG, Michigan State. After not being on the radar, Neitzel impressed at the pre-draft camp and did enough in workouts to garner 2nd-round pick consideration.
58. LA Lakers. Darnell Jackson, PF, Kansas. Why not? Jackson is a winner and knows his role. Team and defense come first.
59. New York (from Detroit). James Gist, SF/PF, Maryland. On the good side, Gist has plenty of talent and is extremely athletic. On the bad side, much of this talent is unrealized to this point.
60. Boston. Othello Hunter, PF, Ohio State. And here goes the run on athletic fours. The hard-working Hunter is an instant energy player who will make hustle plays and use every ounce of his talent.