Prediction for Top Ten with commentary and possible logical trade scenarios
1.Los Angeles Clippers - Blake Griffin - Best player by far in this draft, but he must continue to develop a consistent shot.
2.New York Knicks (by way of Memphis) - Ricky Rubio - I know D'antoni wants guys that can shoot, but I also know that he has a fondness for making great PGs even better in his system. As everybody knows from the Olympics and his "world famous" YouTube videos he's a master in the open court, forget about getting Nash when he opts out in 2010, Rubio with Lebron will be just as good in a few years. Obviously Memphis is not going to give this pick up for nothing, and fortunately for the Knicks they have David Lee; a player the Grizzlies were very high on last offseason according to the media. He will probably command a deal in the $45-50 million for 5-6 years, but that's a price I can see the Grizzlies paying out for a much needed athletic, rebounding, hustle, PF. Along with Lee the Grizzlies would also receive the 8th selection, which I can see turning into a PG or another SG if they want to put Mayo at the 1. To the cap conscious Knicks in return they would be getting a couple of expiring 2010 contracts in Darko and Greg Buckner as well as getting the chance to draft Rubio.
3.Oklahoma City Thunder - Hasheem Thabeet - I would really like to put James Harden here, but I think the Thunder already have that kind of "cerebral" (high basketball IQ) type of player in Jeff Green. Obviously they don't necessarily play the same position, but I think they kind of do the same things in that they make their teams better by finding a good balance between being a playmaker as well as a scorer, but sometimes their too unselfish to a fault, possibly stunting their potential. I think James Harden will be a very solid to good player, but I'm not sure if the Thunder really need another "great" role player (Jalen Rose) more than they need a potential elite interior defender in Thabeet. Also, the Thunder's depth at either post position is scary (Jeff Green's a 3-4 tweener). I'm not sure I'd feel too comfortable with Nenad Kristic, DJ White, Nick Collison, and possibly Robert Swift (Does he even have a contract option for next year?) only manning my interior.
4.Sacramento Kings - Brandon Jennings - I think they take a long, hard look at Tyreke Evans, but I think inevitably they take a guy that will not only develop into a top 5 PG, but will also excite a fanbase that has dramatically turned its back on a once proud and revered Kings franchise. I remember seeing an extremely loud Arco Arena in many playoff series throughout the late 90s and early 2000s, but those days are long gone, it's just so shocking to see a city where there's only one major professional sports franchise and the fanbase has almost completely disappeared from any games. Yes, I realize they were horrible last year, but this is a very small market, you'd think there'd still be plenty of fans at a game, is a River Cats game really better than a Kings game against anybody? Obviously Jennings is not going to come in and average 20 and 9 right off the bat, but a respectable 14 and 7 isn't out of the question. I believe the Roma experiment from what he has said has matured him greatly and I believe it has also given him a great sense of humility by not always having to be or allowed to be the number one scoring option on a team. I also have faith in that this will allow him to become the great playmaker he should become earlier than if he were to have gone to Arizona. He's got as much potential or more in this draft than even Blake just based on his position, skill set, tremendous physical abilities, as well as a new found maturity; and if he continues to work dilligently on his game I think he could quite possibly become more of a PG oriented, southpaw, AI, but you've got to believe strength will be a major key to reaching that lofty plateau.
5.Washington Wizards - Stephen Curry - I like Harden here too, but again I think he's very comparable to another player they have in Caron Butler, albeit the size issue again too, but still a player that's more of a great "help" guy rather than a go to guy. I'll have to admit though, I didn't think Curry looked as effortless this year as he did in his sophomore year, but this year's Davidson was completely devoid of any real D1 talent besides Andrew Lovedale. Also, if Davidson was playing somebody from the big conferences the opposing team would have two defenders on him from the inbounds pass till he got to the top of the perimeter and then they would have three in his face. In these instances he wasn't even able to move let alone operate. This will not happen in the NBA because of a much more open game, as well as having much better teammates that don't bobble passes away, you've got to admit, the kid's got game, if you've watched him, he's got a lot of skill besides shooting, I can't believe anybody would compare this guy to Redick. Redick is a great "system" player, Curry is a dominant, relentless scorer as well as a great playmaker, can you really see Redick taking down Wisconsin and Georgetown in the Tourney with Jason Richards as his best teammate, please, put down the pipe. Probably a player that's comparable to another player the Wizards have in Agent Zero, but still there's no such thing as having too many scorers that have the chance to hit 25-30 every night consistently.
6.Minnesota Timberwolves - James Harden - The problem I have with this pick is that the Wolves actually have a decent core of good role players in Ryan Gomes, Craig Smith, Corey Brewer, Sebastian Telfair, and a possible re-signed Rodney Carney, I know that Harden is much better than the likes of these five, but he's still a player that I don't believe will be able to adjust enough to the NBA to take over games at will. It's unfortunate they're probably taking the wrong player again in Harden rather than a higher ceiling guy like Tyreke Evans, but still I like Harden, I just don't know if it's the right fit for a Wolves club that's not really high on "star power", but rather high on guys that don't necessarily have the physical gifts to take over games. Hopefully for the Wolves, Jefferson will come back healthy, Love will be in better shape with a more refined skill set, and Foye will finally get his head in the game, the man's got physical ability as well as a very good skill set, but he just doesn't seem to be into it, Kahn needs to bring in somebody like Mark Jackson to be an assistant. I'm sure Mark Jackson wouldn't come here to just be an assistant, but just somebody that's a great guard coach along with a great big man coach in McHale.
7.Golden State Warriors - Demar Derozan - I like a couple of other players better here, but I think Don Nelson goes for the high ceiling player again in Derozan. He obviously loves athletes, and Derozan is at or very near the top of his class in terms of athleticism in this draft. If Terrence Williams goes here, it'll be a shocker, but I don't see old Don getting any more senile in the next week and a half. I realize they already have Monta Ellis (PG or SG?), Stephen Jackson, Corey Maggette, Kelena Azabuike, Anthony Randolph (SF or PF?) as well as Anthony Morrow, and who can forget the infamous Marco Belinelli, the next Ray Allen, all legitimately at either the 2 or 3. Somehow, I just can't see Don Nelson and the other new guy taking Johnny Flynn or Tyreke Evans, but in any case, those two I'd imagine would be the next candidates to be considered for this selection by the Warriors. Something that did give me a thought of changing this pick was a comment I read in an article this week that stated a GM saying that Derozan would never have a jumpshot, other GMs also agreed, nevertheless I still see them taking him. He'll definitely be a fast break weapon from the get go, but he has to continue to develop any resemblance of a skill set in order to fully succeed as a player he's intended to be. I don't think his shot is that bad, but I'm just worried about his handle and ability to make other teammates better.
8.Memphis Grizzlies - Tyreke Evans - Not exactly the sweet shooting PG Chris Wallace was envisioning for his club, but still the best player available with Jordan Hill coming in a close second, but no longer a need with the addition of David Lee. I think Mayo definitely has the skill set to become a full time scoring PG and a comparison of a younger, more mature Chauncey Billups with a possible higher ceiling is certainly not out of the question. I hope the Grizzlies are able to find enough touches for their new big three, but I think they'll inevtiably feed off each other more and more as chemistry develops. When you have a sweet shooting combo, why not go with another combo with extreme length that can effortlessly take it to the hoop and create? They're now set from 1-5, they just need to get depth through free agency and continue to develop their young guys.
9.Indiana Pacers (by way of Toronto) - Jordan Hill - Believe me, the Raptors are not happy sitting at this pick after what has trenscended a few picks before them. They were counting on Derozan falling to them so that they would be able to shore up their pathetic perimeter depth, but alas, he is not available. Where do you go? There's a couple of other players that be will pretty good that are available in Jordan Hill and Johnny Flynn, but those prospects play the same two positions the Raptors have locked up in Calderon, as well as having two "face the basket" type of PFs in Bosh and Bargnani. They don't need either player, and in the East if you're sitting at #9 in the draft there's probably a very good chance that you'll be able to get in the playoffs next year. It's just about finding the best player that can help you the most, especially when you're able to pick relatively high one here and know you'll most likely be in the playoffs the next or at least competing for a spot in them. They find a trade partner in the Pacers, who's in desperate need of an athletic PF with length and will hapilly send Brandon Rush along with the 13th pick for the right to the 9th pick. Toronto would get a young SG/SF with potential that can hopefully come in and compete right away along with the 13th pick which could possibly turn into maybe James Johnson, or another athlete in Jeff Teague. In Jordan Hill, Indiana gets a player that was rated throughout the season as the fourth or fifth best prospect in this draft and possibly a steal for them if he continues to escalate up his very high learning curve.
10.Milwaukee Bucks - Johnny Flynn - A no brainer pick here, easily the best player available and where I think the draft starts to get even more uncertain. I think they will truly take a long look at Jeff Teague too, but I think Scott Skiles will get his leader in Flynn who along with fellow high fliers RJ and Joe Alexander (get some skills young fella) will bring the Bradley Center to its feet. The one thing I don't doubt with Flynn after seeing him play for two seasons as well as giving interviews this pre-draft season is that he's a relentless hard worker and a kid that has complete faith in his abilities. I remember reading on this site a couple of years ago about the Under 19 Championships and I remember he was absolutely killing it. I remember too that even Beasley was not doing well, but that Flynn was just dominating. That's my point, even in pressure situations, like competing for your country, he always brings his A game, he's just not afraid of anything, but what truly makes guys under or around 6 ft. great, is no matter how unafraid they are of competition they still must have the humility to take what the defense gives them rather than playing completely out of control, especially for jets like Flynn, and Nate Robinson. He needs to find that balance in order to reach his potential and what better than a very methodical, former PG in Scott Skiles to teach you.
This is one of most questionable and intriguing mocks I've seen so far.
Very interesting and nobody can really argue with it. The only bone I can pick is with Memphis passing on Hill. He could fit very nicely between Gasol and Gay.
Would you really take Hill when you just traded for David Lee and drafted Arthur last year though?
Do you guys really think that 2 and an EXPIRING DEAL can only grab david lee and 8? i could see 8 and lee straight up for 2, but guys, expiring deals are at a premium right now... you can get more that david lee and a 6 slot drop. you have to give up something to get something...
Are they making that trade in July? Lee cant be traded until then. I could see the NY-Mem swap happening just without Lee. I have no clue who they're thinking about but I think Rubio is moved on draft night if at all. Either to Sac. or NY.
The Knicks don't want to sign Lee and probably won't match an offer for $45-50 million for 5-6 years with the expectancy that one of the big free agents will be coming there in 2010. Lee is a good player, but not one that Donnie Walsh and Mike D'Antoni see themselves investing that kind of money in, it's either they take a deal with a team that really wants Lee in Memphis or Portland or take the risk that he goes for nothing in free agency.
The NY-Memphis trade would have to be made after the free agency period begins on July 1st, and I'm sure Rubio would be pissed until then. That's how I see it though, Memphis doesn't need another PG, and Rubio has a lot of value to certain teams, including the Knicks and the Kings, I just don't see the Kings giving up what Memphis wants in Jason Thompson, believe me, the Grizz aren't going to take Hawes.
I agree there is a good chance we sign and trade him but it cant be done on draft night. I doubt that Memphis drafts Rubio and keeps him for a week then trades him.
Even though the deal would not be finalize until after the draft it could still happen. Also this looks to be a well thought out draft. I disagree with some thing but then again i have not made a draft like this yet and also I dont know what will happen in the draft this draft is one of the hardest to gauge because the many point guard keep changing position.
Hey man, first off I gotta say I really enjoyed the mock - I didn't agree with everything, but you backed up each pick with a solid bit of reasoning. That said, I've got to stick up for Sacramento fans a little.
First, the team really failed to catch on that the product wasn't as good until it was really, really bad. They took their season-ticket holders for granted & kept jacking up the prices year after year, even though the product was clearly in decline.
Next was the failed arena deal. The Maloofs sent in a hatchet man who made thinly veiled threats about moving the team to Las Vegas if the taxpayers didn't support the deal on the ballot. Nevermind that there were virtually no details on anything; location of the arena, percentage of public & private outlay in terms of either cost or profit, etc, etc. The deal stunk, so it died an ugly death at the polls. Now there is a perception that the county won't support any new taxes for an arena deal, and this may be true at this later point in time, but only because (excluding the economy obviously) the ownership stepped on their d*cks so badly & because of the next thing.
That would be the Donagahy (sp?) trial & the claim that the refs threw game 6 to the Lakers to ensure a game 7 - something at least 75% of people in this town believe (the rest are Laker fans or people who willfully ignore basketball). If the people of Sacramento ever would have supported a tax increase to pay for a new arena, having that scab so painfully ripped off was probably the final nail in that coffin. If we have the best team in the league that season and do enough to win 4 games in a 7 game series, but the NBA and their refs decide that no, sorry, they'd rather have the Lakers so the ratings will be better - well you can forget about ever getting a skinny nickel of tax money for a new arena. I know the Kings didn't hit their free throws in game 7 (I was there & it was painful to watch) - but there never would have been a game 7 if the (fix? screw-job? extreme home-court advantage?) hadn't taken place in game 6.
Bottom line though, if the Kings put a good (or even halfway exciting - it was pretty bad this year) product on the floor again, the fans will come back. Right now we're mostly feeling broke (like everyone else) & burned by both the league and even our own ownership a bit.
Oh, and if Rubio is gone my money is on Holliday as the Kings choice - although that could certainly change as workouts progress. But I think that the depth at PG in this draft & the fact that there are a couple other guys out there that they may be (almost?) as high on as Rubio makes it really unlikely the Kings move up. Especially if the price to do so continues to be ridiculously high to move up just to get a PG in a PG heavy draft (and it's not inconceivable that Rubio falls to 4). Also, the Kings aren't moving either Hawes or Thompson for anything short of a blockbuster - they're pretty high on both those guys' long-term potential - so in such a weak draft, don't expect to see either of them going anywhere, unless it's to the Clippers for the top pick.
Personally I hope they trade down (they won't), especially if they can add a pick in next year's much deeper draft by doing so. We're not rebuilding this mess overnight, so we might as well take the long view IMHO.
"...will hapilly send Brandon Rush along with the 13th pick for the right to the 9th pick" they really liked rush and they even traded down to get him. i don't think they'd be happy doing this trade.
jordan hill to the raptors at 9 is okay. cb4 is going to leave anyway, trade him now before they lose him for nothing (crawford + c-magg for bosh + banks, works under the cap, both contracts are long so they'd have those two for a longer time. don nelson gets "anthony randolph" in his prime, if bosh leaves in 2010, he'd be happy he got rid of two guys he didn't want to play anyway.)
crawford + c-magg for bosh + banks???
Crawford and c-mag are worth nothing, literally nothing. They are expensive contracts noone wants. The only thing they can get for them is more nothing.
Bosh is valuable, probably one of the 10 most valuable players in the league, no way they trade him for nothing.
need brandon jennings he is way better right now than rubio.......he is a new age AI he can push the floor shoot and the thing that i like about him the most is he is a competitor and he wont back down from anyone............kings need someone like him to get them excited and i am telling all those stupid rubio fans right now he will be a huge bust