Wednesday, June 24, 2009

NBA Mock Draft: Version C-L-E-M-E-N-T 2.0

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 love when big deals go down in the middle of my mock. Shaq to join Bron Bron.

I could predict trade after trade…but I won’t.

I could tell you how Minnesota won’t take four 1st-round picks…but I won’t.

I could tell you that I did hours upon hours of research…but I won’t.

I could tell you I’m playing favorites for Flynn and Maynor (my boys)…but I won’t.

What I will do is give you a gutshot-straight interpretation, aka mock draft, of the first round of tomorrow night’s draft.


Sorry Kwame, but you only get to go #1 once.

1. LA Clippers - Blake Griffin, PF, Oklahoma

It’s all but 100% right now. I know Pay may kill me for this, but I wonder if this guy is going to be a star (no less superstar) in the NBA. His raw athleticism and out-of-the-gym hops will be limited until he develops a respectable jump shot or back to the basket game. I see this guy potentially shooting 95% inside 5 feet and 25% outside of it.

2. Memphis - Hasheem Thabeet, C, UConn

If I were allowed to play “virtual GM”, I’d probably predict that Rubio goes here and is dealt to another team (likely Minnesota). In the end, Thabeet’s size and shotblocking ability are sorely needed in Memphis and won’t be passed up.

3. Oklahoma City - James Harden, SG, Arizona State
Rubio here is enticing, but Westbrook works well with Durant and seems a solid fit that doesn’t need to gel alongside another point guard in the starting lineup. Harden is as unselfish a shoot-first guard can be. He’ll fit in nicely alongside this team’s young nucleus.

4. Sacramento – Tyreke Evans, PG/SG, Memphis
He’ll eeek out Rubio as the 19-year old coveted by SacTown. Selling tickets for a season or two is one thing, the potential this kid (Evans) has is another. He is committed, even at a young age, to playing tough on both sides of the ball. Good luck finding that at any age on the basketball court.

5. Minnesota – Ricky Rubio, PG, DKV Joventut
Just take the best two guys available. Of course, it’s highly unlikely Minnesota makes four 1st-round selections, but I’ll go with it. Rubio should be lucky to be playing alongside an unselfish, skilled big like Kevin Love. Not to mention the force in the paint that has become Al Jefferson (who the Timberwolves would be quite foolish to trade).

Stephen Curry would do quite well if his career ended up like his father's, Dell.

6. Minnesota – Stephen Curry, PG/SG, Davidson
Both the Warriors and Knicks would like to move up for Curry, but either won’t (Warriors) or can’t (Knicks) pay the steep price. Curry would do well in a smaller market and could eventually blossom into a lights-out shooter from all over the court.

7. Golden State – Jrue Holliday, PG/SG, UCLA
Combo him with Monta Ellis, especially with Jamal Crawford potentially on the way out, and allow Holliday’s game time to grow. He’ll fit in well on a roster that already has several guys of that ilk. With that being said, this pick might be the equivalent of the Raiders at 7 in the NFL Draft. Outside of (maybe) Curry, this team is my biggest unknown.

At least D'Antoni knows the kid can play 40+ minutes a night.

8. New York – Jonny Flynn, PG, Syracuse
No Curry, Evans, or even Thabeet has to make the Knicks cringe, but should be expected. Fortunately, there point guard for the future is found. Flynn likes the bright lights, has stamina galore for the offense he’d be walking into, and doesn’t mind putting up double digit assists before double digit points.

9. Toronto – Jordan Hill, PF, Arizona
I’ve had this for nearly a month. Bosh is going to end up being potentially the biggest free agent of 2010. Why? LeBron and Wade are re-signing and I still firmly believe Amare will be signed and traded at some point before next season’s trade deadline. Toronto can invest in Hill’s emerging talent, as a likely replacement for Mr. Bosh.

10. Milwaukee – Demar Derozan, SG/SF, UCLA
With the Richard Jefferson experiment over, Milwaukee has to decide what its point guard (particularly Ramon Sessions) situation looks like. While Holliday would be nice, Derozan offers versatility and – give or take 2-3 years – a lot of what they had to have seen in Jefferson.

11. New Jersey – Gerald Henderson, SG, Duke
I scratched my head a little about this after I typed it, but decided that Henderson – who won’t go #8 to the Knicks – is tough, physical, and the type of attack the basket player that will soon be in the lineup next to Devin Harris.

12. Charlotte – Tyler Hansbrough, PF, North Carolina
Doesn’t this sound like an MJ pick? Unlike the questionable Sean May selection, Hansbrough is tough enough for the NBA game and would bring heart and hustle to a team that lacks any star credibility whatsoever. Funny how he worked his way into the lottery. Doesn’t surprise me one bit. Pay, please never post that picture again though.

13. Indiana – Brandon Jennings, PG, Lottomatica Roma
TJ Ford must hate all the love for the point guard position in most mock drafts for the Pacers. Jennings is a little too raw right now; however, he can be given plenty of time to develop. I still have a feeling this guy isn’t the next Sebastian Telfair.

This kid impresses me more and more daily. He might be the gem of this draft class. Seriously.

14. Phoenix – Ty Lawson, PG, North Carolina
What Phoenix does with Amare over the next 12 months, or even 12 days (hours?), is going to dictate the future of this franchise potentially for the next 5-10 years. While Steve Nash isn’t likely to be let go, the Suns need backcourt depth and Lawson is as about as good as it gets. His defense is underrated and he will adjust to the half court much better than most critics are willing to accept.

15. Detroit – BJ Mullens, C, Ohio State
I’ll drink the Kool-Aid on the “guarantee”, which means it ain’t happening. Mullens is a bonafide BUST. There, I called it.

Am I cray to make a comparison between Blair and JR Reid? Am I!?!?

16. Chicago – DeJuan Blair, PF/C, Pittsburgh
The knee issues shouldn’t be ignored for a guy with such a physical game. Tyrus Thomas may not be in Chicago past draft night, either way Blair offers physicality that is vital for this team.

17. Philadelphia – Jeff Teague, PG, Wake Forest
Edges out my boy Maynor for his “instant offense” ability. Will there be enough shots though if he and Louis Williams form a future backcourt? Not likely.

18. Minnesota (from Miami) – Terrence Williams, SG/SF, Louisville
Corey Brewer isn’t going to work out in the NBA. Williams should study the maturation of Chris Bosh from college (albeit one season) to the NBA. Add in some defensive toughness and this guy might make a lot of teams regret letting him slip out of the lottery.

19. Atlanta – Eric Maynor, PG, Virginia Commonwealth
Acie Law and Speedy Claxton may be going to Golden State for Jamal Crawford. That tells me this team needs a pass-first point guard for the future. Enter perhaps the top pick-and-roll guard in this draft, who could start and produce very early for this talented up-and-coming team. Sorry Mike Bibby.

20. Utah – James Johnson, SF/PF, Wake Forest
You know they want Hansbrough, but Johnson is young and can develop nicely under Jerry Sloan and company. Although let it be stated again, I don’t like this kid’s NBA potential at all.

21. New Orleans – Earl Clark, SF/PF, Louisville
If he falls/plummets to 21, I’d trade up to get him. Portland is furious right now as Clark would’ve been an intriguing fit, sorry Channing Frye, in their young nucleus.

If Young's shot fake can work in the NBA, that's 8-10 more points a game for him.

22. Portland – Sam Young, SF/PF, Pittsburgh
This team needs to draft a mature, responsible, and multi-versatile player this late in the 1st round. Couldn’t ask for a much better option honestly.

23. Sacramento (from Houston) – Omri Casspi, SF, Maccabi Tel Aviv
Here’s the import who might be able to help this team more than you expect, just not immediately. In a relatively tiny international crop, he might be the clear-cut #2 option (although well behind Rubio).

24. Dallas – Austin Daye, SF, Gonzaga
I don’t expect Josh Howard to be going anywhere…yet. Nevertheless, Dallas will take Daye, despite the interesting physicality issues that Pay – and a few others – have noticed recently, to add depth to the position.

25. Oklahoma City (from San Antonio) – Taj Gibson, PF, USC
Oklahoma City needs a body who can fill the paint. While his offensive game might need minor retooling, I think Gibson’s blend of physicality and an impressive wingspan would work well for the Thunder (what a stupid team name, by the way).

26. Chicago (from Denver through Oklahoma City) – Wayne Ellington, SG, North Carolina
I’ve seen him as high as the late lottery to the early-half of the second round. He’s a smooth shooter who could develop into a talented first-tier reserve in the NBA. What Pay and I disagree somewhat about is his ability, at least in the NBA, to attack the hoop and create his own shot.

Still room on the "Patt Mills in the 1st Round" bandwagon. Hope on!!!!

27. Memphis (from Orlando) – Patrick Mills, PG, St. Mary’s

I was stubborn that somehow Darius Hayward-Bay would be taken before Michael Crabtree in the NFL Draft. Fortunately, Al Davis bailed me out. Meanwhile, I still stick to my guns that Mills finds a way to go in the 1st round. It’s just me sitting out here. It’s lonely and cold.

28. Minnesota (from Boston) – Nick Calathes, SG, Florida
Let him play overseas for a year or two and then come to the NBA. With four first round picks, which as you know I have them all keeping, it doesn’t hurt to let an investment accrue interest for a short while.

29. LA Lakers – Darren Collison, PG, UCLA
Derek Fisher isn’t getting any younger, Farmar could be interesting trade bait if an injury arose for the Lakers, and Collison plays enough defense to be a backup point guard in the NBA.

30. Cleveland – Chase Budinger, SF, Arizona

He has lottery talent and likely will prove critics and detractors wrong and go much much earlier than this. However, there are a lot of things worse than going to play with LeBron James. Just ask Luke Jackson. I mean, don’t ask him. Nevermind…

Here's a few of the reasons why I think Eric Maynor is lottery potential, despite a ton of depth at the position.

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