Tweet tweet. Pay's most recent 2-round mock is HERE. I plan on having my final mock tonight or early tomorrow. Tweet tweet.
I threw out a dozen-or-so draft-related questions to the editor (aka Pay) and let him decide which ones he'd address. Also a few random thoughts of my own (shocker!) might sneak their way in.
Question #1: Which Louisville prospect is most likely lottery bound: Terrence Williams or Earl Clark?
Pay: Two months ago, I would have said Earl Clark. After workouts, Williams' stock has risen because teams love his versatility. He may also be the best defender in this draft class, and he won't last past the 12th pick.
Clement: It's just as likely both slip into the late lottery, potentially even back-to-back, as they both slip into the late teens. Personally, I question what position and what type of shooting range either possesses on the NBA level. Nevertheless, I agree with Pay about Williams (slightly) over Clark. He seems more equipped to be a leader, a scorer, and a defender.
Question #2: Which second round prospect most intrigues you?
Pay: Danny Green. On the right team and in the right situation with the right coaching, he will be an All-Star. If you watched him at Carolina like I did, he's not short of desire and concentrated power of will. Unlike most other second-round talents, Green is a 94-foot player, and he has steadily improved his jump shot, defense, and demeanor in the last four years.
Clement: A lot of teams are desperate for a point guard, or depth at the position, and the first round offers tons of depth at the position. However, if you're willing to sweat it out in the second round, FSU's Toney Douglas (admittedly a combo guard) might be the Mario Chalmers of this draft. He has a knack for scoring but also distributes well and can continue to improve on defense.
Question #3: Who is the "safest" selection outside the top 5?
Pay: Tyler Hansbrough. According to NBA GMs and anyone with a pulse, he's a known quantity who will work hard and never quit.
Clement: Ty Lawson. While I'm not sure if he can be an elite point guard in the NBA, his speed, quickness, clutch shooting, and overall work effort (especially fighting through injuries) will keep him in this league for 10+ years.
Question #4: Which team has been the most difficult to analyze and predict in the top 10?
Pay: Memphis. What will they do at #2? They have a major need at the center position, but they do not seem enamored with Hasheem Thabeet who skipped out on a workout. Increasingly, I believe that they will select the best player available (Ricky Rubio) and trade him to the highest bidder (Minnesota).
Clement: Golden State. At #7, they are Donnie Walsh's biggest nemesis right now (if the affection for Curry is legit, which it clearly appears to be). The Warriors and their front office perplex me more and more, especially since Don Nelson is still calling most of the shots, with a roster that needs to downsize rather than adding another lottery selection. Filled with tweeners galore, I don't believe Stephen Curry would fall past them at 7. However, assuming he's already gone (likely to Minnesota), I have no idea what this team is thinking. NONE.
Question #5: Is Milwaukee better off drafting a rookie point guard (i.e. Johnny Flynn or Ty Lawson) or resigning Ramon Sessions?
Pay: From a dollars and sense perspective, you draft a point guard in the 1st round. But, Scott Skiles seems to really like Sessions, so I expect the Bucks to make every effort to re-sign him. Do not be shocked if the Bucks draft a point guard with the 10th pick and sign Sessions, only to trade Sessions, Ridnour, or the point guard taken with the 10th pick.
Clement: I have always felt Sessions could be a very very good point guard in this league. No, he isn't going to be CP3, Deron Williams, or Derrick Rose; however, I grade him higher than any point guard in this draft (even on their potential). With that being said, Milwaukee has made a mess of their cap and the trade market for the underrated Sessions may not be too strong. With a nucleus of Bogut, Redd, and Villenueva, I'd re-sign Sessions and trade down in this draft (targeting perhaps the aformetioned Terrence Williams or even Gerald Henderson).
After dealing players and picks with the Wizards (notably Randy Foye and Mike Miller), the Minnesota Timberwolves have the 5th and 6th overall picks in tomorrow night's draft. Question now becomess, is Minnesota looking for the best two players available? The best guard and best forward? What if Thabeet slips to them? Do they envision a Thabeet/Jefferson/Love front line? Are they going with the best two guards, regardless of position? Do they really expect to draft four guys in the 1st round? Might they be the team who deals up to #2 with Memphis for Ricky Rubio? If I were the GM in Memphis, I'd get whatever I could from Minnesota (as long as I liked someone enough at #5), take Rubio, and then deal the Spanish phenom to the land of a thousand lakes.
As for the rest of the day, check out the Twitter feed (don't you always?), as I'm off to Transformers 2 right now. And no critics, I'm not expecting the next Godfather, Citizen Kane, or even Terminator 2. Instead, I'm anticipating quite a bit of this...
I know, I'm a sexist pig. I'll listen to the lecture from Jessie Spano later.
Although, she has a checkered past herself, you know.