Thursday, June 25, 2009

NBA Mock Draft: Version 5.0 (FINAL) -- June 26, 2009

* Memphis trades the 2nd pick to Minnesota for the 6th and 18th picks
* Sacramento trades the 23rd pick to Detroit for the 44th pick and cash considerations
* Oklahoma City trades the 25th pick to Houston for cash considerations
* Memphis trades the 27th pick to San Antonio for the 51st pick and cash considerations
* Portland trades the 33rd pick to Houston for cash considerations
* Minnesota trades the 47th pick to Orlando for two 2nd-round picks and cash considerations
* Indiana trades the 52nd pick to Boston for cash considerations
* Dallas trades the 56th pick to New York for future 2nd-round pick (top 40 protection)

* Kirk Hinrich
* Travis Outlaw
* Luke Ridnour
* Mike Miller
* DeShawn Stevenson

1. LA Clippers - Blake Griffin, PF, Oklahoma. Griffin is their man. Expect the Clippers to shop at least one of their veteran bigs on the cheap to make space for the franchise forward.

2. Memphis – Ricky Rubio, PG, DKV Joventut. Uh oh. The Grizzlies went there, taking the much-maligned point guard from Spain. I smell a trade brewing …

3. Oklahoma City - James Harden, SG, Arizona State. Truly a combo guard, Harden is arguably the second-most skilled player in the draft after Rubio. Rumor has it that Thabeet could go here, but a combination of Westbrook, Durant and Harden sounds too lethal to pass up.

4. Sacramento – Tyreke Evans, SG/PG, Memphis. Evans is one of the high risers as a result of workouts. That said, he performed on the court all season and demonstrated that he can be a combo guard at the next level.

5. Minnesota (from Washington) - Hasheem Thabeet, C, UConn. Thabeet needs few shots to make an impact and his defensive prowess is documented. That said, I have more doubts than most about Thabeet’s durability and aptitude for playing without the benefit of the zone defense.

6. Minnesota – Stephen Curry, PG/SG, Davidson. The sharpshooter is a great fit for any team, because he demonstrated solid ball-handling skills this past season. And he might change hats multiple times before the night is over.

7. Golden State - Jordan Hill, PF, Arizona. One of the highest risers in this year’s class, Hill is still getting better in all facets of the game (physical, mental, skill). If Monta Ellis does not end up running the point, the Warriors may select either Jonny Flynn or Brandon Jennings.

8. New York - Jonny Flynn, PG, Syracuse. Speedy, strong and smart – Flynn is the type of leader who Mike D’Antoni needs. It is rumored that the Knicks will decide between Curry, Evans and Jrue Holiday, but I think they take Flynn over Holiday.

9. Toronto - DeMar DeRozan, SG/SF, USC. No one questions DeRozan’s athleticism and skill. If he can become consistent and let his defensive efforts feed his offensive game, he could be the aggressive swingman who can get to the line consistently. If DeRozan shows resistance to playing north of the border, the Raptors could select Gerald Henderson or Terrence Williams

10. Milwaukee – Jrue Holiday, PG/SG, UCLA. Resigned to losing Ramon Sessions, it seems more and more like the Bucks are selecting a point guard. I really see the Bucks trading down a few picks and taking Jeff Teague. If they hang onto the pick, Holiday is the type of defender who can grow into the point guard role that Scott Skiles likes.

11. New Jersey – Terrence Williams, SG/SF, Louisville. A surprising pick at #11, coaches have fallen in love with Williams’s will to win and multi-faceted game. Yes, he has glaring holes, but he displays the one thing that will ensure he gets court time as a rookie – lockdown defense.

12. Charlotte – Gerald Henderson, SG, Duke. As a result of the Vince Carter trade, Henderson benefits at least monetarily. Henderson is a different type of shooting type of guard and will not sit on the bench for very long if healthy.

13. Indiana - Brandon Jennings, PG, Lottomatica Roma. Teams love Jennings’s upside, a word I’ve grown to hate. Perhaps, that’s why I have him going this late. Or, it’s because he averaged 5 points per game. Rumor has it that DeJuan Blair may go here. If he does not go here, I do not expect him to go until the early 20s.

14. Phoenix – James Johnson, PF, Wake Forest. Johnson is a talented player who flourishes in an up-tempo system because of his athleticism and length. He has a nice jump shot, but does he have the demeanor of a winner?

15. Detroit – BJ Mullens, C, Ohio State. Worst kept secret. Even worse pick if it's true. I really do not get what Joe Dumars is playing at with this pick, but this is who they want. If I were them and had this position, I’d jump at Eric Maynor or Ty Lawson. Quickly.

16. Chicago – Earl Clark, SF/PF, Louisville. Clark’s skill, length and tenacity makes him a good fit for any team that wants to win in this league. His ability to run the floor well is an added bonus.

17. Philadelphia – Eric Maynor, PG, Virginia Commonwealth. Needing a floor general who does not need to learn on the fly, the Sixers get just that. Maynor can do it all and has one of the nicest floaters from 8 to 14 feet out that you’ll ever see.

18. Minnesota – Tyler Hansbrough, PF, North Carolina. Kind of a flyer here for the T-Wolves who are drafting for a need of the Grizzlies for a projected trade that may not happen. Another year, another Carolina player in the lottery that we did not expect come draft night. The Nets are also said to be enamored with the 6’9” forward from Poplar Bluff, Missouri.

19. Atlanta – Ty Lawson, PG, North Carolina. Lawson strikes the balance between being cat quick and disciplined. Is that the reason why some GMs may think he has reached his plateau? Lawson immediately becomes the backup point guard.

20. Utah - Austin Daye, SF, Gonzaga. Daye may have a promise in the teens, but he slips here. Daye is a very good shooter and has a good feel for the game. Questions about his ability to be physical has him slipping for me. His addition may prepare the team for life without Kyle Rock n’ Roll Korver.

21. New Orleans - DeJuan Blair, PF, Pittsburgh. Every draft needs a fall guy. He’s ours. I love him and his 12+ rebounds per game, but every day, I read columns concerning his questionable knees.

22. Portland (from Dallas) – Chase Budinger, SG/SF, Arizona. Budinger is a lights-out offensive player who has improved slightly as a defender, but not enough to warrant clear lottery status. Needless to say, he is great value at the 22nd pick and will vie for playing time immediately.

23. Sacramento (from Houston) - Omri Casspi, SF, Maccabi Tel Aviv. One of the most talented young players in Europe over the last two years, Casspi has an inside/outside game that’s more of the finesse and flair style. Rumors were flying last week that this pick may be dealt. To whom?

24. Dallas (from Portland) - Jeff Teague, PG, Wake Forest. I’d be shocked to see Teague fall this far. Ultimately, this drop came down to two factors. NBA teams have enough score-first point guards. Jerryd Bayless dropped in last year’s draft. All it takes though is a single GM to avoid the numbers and put his faith in Teague to be a distributor / scorer.

25. Oklahoma City (from San Antonio) – Victor Claver, SF, Pamesa Valencia. Claver does not fit the Charmin stereotype that most Spanish players fall into for being soft. He’s also a very polished player, but needs to improve his lateral quickness. Rumors last week discussed OKC possibly jettisoning this pick.

26. Chicago (from Denver through Oklahoma City) – Marcus Thornton, SG, LSU. Thornton is a multifaceted shooting guard who can break down defenses, connect from deep, and guard on the ball.

27. Memphis (from Orlando) – Jonas Jerebko, SF/PF, Angelico Biella. Jerebko dominated at the EuroCamp and caught the eye of NBA scouts. He’s really a 3, but can play the 4 in some systems.

28. Minnesota (from Boston) – Wayne Ellington, SG, North Carolina. Ellington is a smooth shooter with a silky stroke and improved steadily at the defensive end. Not to mention, he can take it to the hoop if the need arises.

29. New York (from LA Lakers) – Jack McClinton, PG/SG, Miami. Here’s a reach that’s been widely rumored. But, Mike D’Antoni, like many good NBA coaches, loves specialists. McClinton is a dead-eye shooter who will flourish in an open system.

30. Cleveland – Derrick Brown, SF, Xavier. Another explosive forward, Brown doesn’t mind mixing it up in the paint or stepping back for a trifecta. He adds a wing presence that the Cavs sorely needed against the Magic. DaJuan Summers is a decent fit at this pick too, but Brown is more consistent.

31. Sacramento - Darren Collison, PG, UCLA. Collison struggles mightily against taller guards and the NBA consists of those. That said, Collison can easily make a roster, because he’s a hard worker, has great quickness, makes good decisions on and off the ball, and has a mid- and long-range jumper. Toney Douglas would also look really good in a Kings uniform.

32. Washington - Taj Gibson, PF, USC. Gibson adds depth to the Wizards frontline and makes them even younger. His mid-range jumper and wingspan - which results in blocked shots - adds value.

33. Portland (from LA Clippers) – Sam Young, SF, Pittsburgh. Agile and talented, Young made the most of his abilities while playing in the Big East. Young is also a high character guy which any coach has to like.

34. Denver (from Oklahoma City) - Toney Douglas, PG/SG, Florida State. Douglas provided scoring punch in the backcourt that other guards may not bring to the table. He can step in and assume the backup PG role immediately.

35. Detroit (from Minnesota) - Patrick Mills, PG, St. Mary’s. Mills hasn’t impressed too much in workouts, but he was a sure-fire first-round pick before his injury. This is the type of point guard that the Detroit wants.

36. Memphis – DaJuan Summers, SF, Georgetown. After making a horrible decision to leave school, Summers’s athleticism makes him a very viable option early in round 2. One of the better values thus far.

37. San Antonio (from Golden State) - Josh Heytvelt, PF/C, Gonzaga. A rebounding forward with a deft shooting touch. Heytvelt will be able to make an impact if he keeps his head on straight and works hard.

38. Portland (from New York) - Nick Calathes, PG/SG, Panathinaikos. Stash pick here for next year or another suitor. Calathes will be in Greece for up to three seasons, but he can become a Blazer after one. He can score, rebound and dish it, but does he have the will to win?

39. Detroit (from Toronto) - Jeff Pendergraph, PF, Arizona State. Serviceable big man who never quits and is crafty like an NBA vet.

40. Charlotte (from New Jersey) - Jeff Adrien, PF, UConn. For a team that wants to get physical immediately, Adrien is a great pick. If effective, it will be as a garbage man on the offensive end and as a physical defender.

41. Milwaukee – Danny Green, SF, North Carolina. A 94-foot player, Green spent last summer adding muscle to his frame to prepare for the rigors of the NBA. To be successful, Green must become more consistent at the offensive end and not let his slumps at one end affect effort at the other.

42. LA Lakers – DerMarre Carroll, SF/PF, Missouri. Carroll has plenty of potential. He can instantly become an energy player off of the bench and provide 10 minutes of quality play per game.

43. Miami (from Indiana) - Tyrese Rice, PG, Boston College. Underrated (largely because of his height), Rice has a great first step that made him a regular guest in the opponent’s paint.

44. Detroit - Leo Lyons, PF, Missouri. Lyons provides some much-needed energy and skill.

45. Minnesota (from Philadelphia via Miami) – Sergey Gladyr, SG, MBC Mykolaiv. A relative unknown in Europe, Gladyr excelled at the EuroCamp, demonstrating strong mechanics and good bounce. He’s still young (19) and has plenty to learn.

46. Phoenix (from Chicago via Cleveland) – Jermaine Taylor, SG, Central Florida. Taylor is one of the best pure shooters in the draft and an asset to anyone who may acquire this pick.

47. Minnesota (from Miami) – Jody Meeks, SG, Kentucky. If you watched any SEC basketball last year, you’ll know that Meeks is a prolific scorer who’s unselfish and is a very underrated on-the-ball defender.

48. Phoenix - Ahmad Nivins, PF, St. Joseph’s. Wiry power forward with an inside / outside game, and averaged a double-double.

49. Atlanta - Robert Dozier, PF, Memphis. Tenacious defender whose wiry frame allows him to defend multiple positions.

50. Utah - Rodrigue Beaubois, PG, Cholet. Beaubois slips due to tweener status. Teams have to love Beaubois’s speed and wingspan, and some hold out hope that he can grow into a playmaking role.

51. San Antonio (from New Orleans via Toronto) – Dionte Christmas, SG, Temple. This pick reeks of BPA – best player available – plus trade. Christmas may not be the best player, but no team can have enough shooters or scorers.

52. Indiana (from Dallas) – Jon Brockman, PF, Washington. Gritty forward who can flat-out rebound … and score.

53. San Antonio (from Houston) – Jerel McNeal, SG, Marquette. Though undersized at the 2, McNeal is athletic and skilled. He can easily go in the late 30s or 40s.

54. Charlotte (from San Antonio) – Dante Cunningham, SF, Villanova. One of my favorite players, Cunningham is a coach’s dream. He always works hard, never gives up on a loose ball, plays textbook defense, and plays within himself on offense.

55. Portland – Vyacheslav Kravtsov, C, BC Kyiv. Built like a brick wall, Kravtsov can turn into a defensive specialist.

56. Dallas (from Denver through Portland) – Emir Preldzic, SF, Fenerbahce Ulker. A point forward with a high basketball IQ, Preldzic is a skilled player whose responsibility increased this year in the Euroleague.

57. Phoenix (from Orlando) – AJ Price, PG, UConn. A crafty point guard who’s battle-tested and mature.

58. Boston - Sergio Llull, PG/SG, Real Madrid. Aggressive decision maker who may be a defensive liability at times.

59. LA Lakers - Curtis Jerrells, PG, Baylor. Speedy guard who can but must improve his decision making to avoid being only a D-league all-star.

60. Miami (from Cleveland) – Chris Johnson, PF, LSU. Thin yet athletic forward who needs to get stronger to make imprint on league.

No comments: