Top 10 Mock Draft with explanations
1.Sacramento Kings - Blake Griffin PF - I really think this kid's combination of skill, size, strength, quickness, drive to be great, and athleticism only come around once every couple of years. Believe me, I would love to put Rubio here, but how many other pros had his size, strength, quickness, elite athleticism, ball handling skills in the half court or in transition, or his drive to succeed at the age of 20? I'd love to tag him as the next Boozer, but I think that's not giving him his correct due. Boozer is a very good player, but he doesn't have nearly the athleticism, quickness or face up perimeter skills (Ball Handling, Passing) as Griffin. I think that A'mare and Howard coming out of high school are the only post players that would match his athleticism, but again Blake's a much better player off the dribble than both of them. Howard obviously has a big advantage in size and defensive skill, but a big disadvantage in offensive skill. I read an article last year online where a GM said the only player he could think of that could be compared to Griffin in terms of size and skill was Lebron James. He said he obviously didn't have the same perimeter skill set (Consistent Shooting, IQ-Vision) of Lebron, but something to the degree that he was a super aggressive, drive to the basket on every possession, 6'9" 260lbs lean, elite athletic freak. I think that Rubio should at least be brought in and worked out because Udrih will never be a starting PG, but I really think that Griffin is the type of player that only comes around once every few years. He may very well be a SF if he truly has the motivation to work on his shooting, but face it, it doesn't matter, his quickness and athleticism are already unmatched as a post player (Howard is close or tied in athleticism) and the NBA is becoming less and less defined by position. He's Shawn Kemp with a better Handle, a developing Shot, and a drive to be great.
2.Washington Wizards - Ricky Rubio PG - They may look at Thabeet here too, but I'm leaning towards Grunfeld trading this pick for cap relief and veteran help. I'm thinking something will be done with either the Wolves, Warriors, Sixers, or the Knicks. The Wolves have a pretty good trading chip in Mike Miller's expiring contract (hopefully last season can be forgotten by GMs) as well as lower picks that would mean less in guaranteed money while still building for the future. I'd imagine though, that somebody will probably have to take back Songaila and Stevenson in the trade, but in the process you'd be getting the only other player in this Draft besides Griffin that's virtually guaranteed to be very good, if not great. Obviously there isn't too much live coverage on this kid, but from the couple of games they've played on NBA TV, what I've read throughout the last four years and watching the Olympics last year, he seems to be like Steve Nash with Gary Payton tendencies (bullying - ball hawk defense, cocky, smack talker)
3.LA Clippers - Hasheem Thabeet C - I still think this pick is up in the air over who they might choose, or how the lottery works out, but when in doubt, go for size. How long can the Clipps have patience with their oft injured, malcontent frontline of Kaman, Camby, and Randolph? I can't see these three salary cap eating players lasting too long with Sterling still running things. I thought Kaman looked like he was on the up and up in 07-08, but he never looked like he was ready to play this year. Maybe it was the Olympics experience with Deutschland, but none the less he was a shadow of his previous season's self this year. I would assume that Jordan Hill, the three local kids (Harden, Derozan, and Jennings), and probably Reke' will get looks too, but unless they're really disatisfied with Al Thornton's sophomore season, they'll go for Thabeet. He doesn't have the wisdom or intellignece of Mt. Mutombo, but I really don't see him being anything worse than a thinner Mark Eaton with suprisingly better offensive skills, (I didn't think anybody was worse than Thabeet). Strengthening those hands I believe will be key in his offensive development, I really think his touch is underrated, he's at least consistent within 8-10 feet at this point. At the very least he's a major defensive game changer.
4.Oklahoma City Thunder - Jordan Hill PF - I believe they'll take a long, hard look at Harden, Derozan, and Evans, but ultimately they'll get their quick, athletic, intense post player they've been looking for since they thought they got it in Tyson Chandler or even Chris Wilcox with the Sonics. His game will excel with the talent that'll surround him in the "Second Fattest City in the US". Can you imagine what this team will look like in transition! At this stage, he's a young Antonio McDyess (size, athleticism, quickness, and intensity) with less strength and better range.
5.Minnesota Timberwolves - James Harden SG - This pick will heavily depend on who Glen Taylor chooses as his next Executive of Basketball Operations. There's been virtually no local media coverage on the topic, but here's an article on the Spurs' assistant GM being interviewed and turning the position down http://sports.espn.go.com/nba/news/story?id=4123509. I still believe that Taylor will get their man in Lindsey, but it may take some hard negotiating, as it sounds he does not want to leave the Spurs organization just yet. If the Wolves are extremely lucky, they'll get Rubio without having to give this pick up, I don't see that happening, but I'm not sure if the Wizards want to give that much in guaranteed money to a rookie. More likely I see this pick being involved in a much bigger trade where the Wizards would get more veteran help and cap relief from a third or fourth team involved. The key to his success will be his continued development in creating his own jump shot off the dribble. His body control is on an elite level as evidenced by his play and statistics regarding his free throw attemtps and ability to hit shots close to the basket. I still think he needs to trim down and tighten up some to maximize his quickness and athleticism, but the fact that he won't turn 20 until August makes this less of a worry, he's still most likely growing. He really uses his intellect to his advantage, he's already becoming a master at pump fakes and stutter steps. As long as he maintains a good work ethic and conditions his body to its maximum potential I see him being in the same mold as other bold, crafty, playmakers like Paul Pierce, Caron Butler, and Manu Ginobli - less the injuries.
6.Memphis Grizzlies - Tyreke Evans SG - Mayo is a great shooter and Gay is an emerging athletic freak with good range too, but in order for these players to succeed they need a true playmaker that opens the floor for them. Will Conley ever really be a difference making playmaker? Or is he an Iavaroni PG experiment gone bad? I have to admit he did look much better towards the last part of the season, but I don't believe he has the poise or intellect to truly make his teamates that much better as their primary playmaker. I believe that's where Reke' comes in, he has that ability much like B-Roy to be a 2 with full ball handling and playmaking abilities. I have to admit he does play a little out of control at times, but he looked much more contained towards the last half of the season. His ability to get to the basket and draw contact is something the Grizz have sorely lacked as well. It's unforunate to see Mayo having the ability to create his own jump shot off the dribble at will, but to not have the ability to take his man off the dribble to create for others or to get to the basket and draw fouls at a consistent clip is the unforunate part of not having elite quickness, athleticism, and the innate sense to take what the defense gives you. Tyreke will open the floor considerably for him and Gay with his ability to penetrate and create at will. He'll never be confused for a true PG, but I see him as being a cross between a smaller Penny Hardaway (notch below in athleticism) and Larry Hughes (his time with the Wizards).
7.Golden State - Johnny Flynn PG - This pick is a little unpredictable for me, because I don't believe Don Nelson can ever really be predicted. I do see a young Timmy in this kid though, especially with the cocky demeanor, strength, handle, quickness, and athleticism. Take a look at this article, it just rang Don Nelson in my head: http://www.cbssports.com/nba/story/11661504. If he continues to work on his game, I can really see him developing into a very athletic, strong, cocky PG, in the same mold as Timmy. He must continue to work on his range and his ability to see the floor when driving (keep your head up!) to get to this lofty potential, but I have an intuitive feeling Don Nelson thinks his flaws are correctable.
8.New York Knicks - Brandon Jennings PG - This pick will come down to who they covet more, Jennings, Curry, or Lawson. I think the whole European experience has toughened Jennings up mentally and he'll need plenty of it to succeed at the Point at such a young age. I believe that D'Antoni knows that the European experience is not for the weak hearted and I'm sure he'll be very pleased with the fact that instead of Jennings sulking and getting worse throughout the season he actually picked up more and more confidence down the stretch. This kid has heart and should probably get picked higher than this, but he's still so young and inexperienced, and unforunately, this new, financially careful League is about instant success and not waiting for players to develop. Fortunately for Jennings, D'Antoni drafts for potential, and the Knicks always do well in ticket sales, even if they suck. He will need a lot of time and a major strength and conditioning program to fully reach his potential, but I truly see him being a potential superstar in the mold of Chris Paul. This kid just has what it takes in term of elite athleticism, elite ball handling, and elite passing ability, he just needs a lot of time in the weight room and experience playing at a high level. Right now, he's Sebastian Telfair with more explosivness, but with the same unforunate quality of being unable to finish through contact and suprisingly even less range.
9.Toronto Raptors - Demar Derozan SF - First of all, who do they have at either of the wing positions under contract for next season? Let's see, Kapono... wow, that's it? You might as well go get yourself the next Igoudala. I had the unfortunate pleasure of viewing the horrible state the PAC 10 was in this last year on those Fox Sports Pacific channels. Some of those games were pretty hard to watch. Hill in the beginning of the season and Harden looked great in a lot of those games, but Derozan was really hard to follow, you'd just lose him on the court, he didn't demand the ball in his hands. Then I saw him play in the PAC 10 and the big Tourney and he wanted the ball in his hands. He looked great and really had the upper hand in not only sheer physicality, but also in skill and intelligence, he was realizing his potential. His yearn to get better will truly determine what kind of player he will be, the fortunate part for him is he's got great size, elite freakish athleticism, and what looks to be (at least towards the end of the season) a serious passion to be great. Right now, I think he's Iggy with less vision and a shaky handle. Toronto will be great for his development, Calderon is a great playmaker and will help this kid develop quickly.
10.Milwaukee - Stephen Curry PG - Besides Charlie V, and the oft injured Michael Redd, who can really shoot consistently on this team that's under contract for next year? I really can't remember any at the top of my head, but this kid is the real deal. Even with the probability that Sessions comes back, I really see them taking a shot on this kid. Sessions has some potential as well, but Curry is not only a lights out shooter, but he's also a very good ball handler and possibly an elite passer with time, I hate to say it, but you're probably somewhat right on you observations Bob Knight. Obviously not the greatest passer of all time, but definitely elite, even Mark Jackson, a guaranteed future coach said he would have Curry as his starting PG on his team last season. I got to see most of his games prior to conference play where he at least played against superior competition and he looked in control when not being double and tripled teamed, and having his teammates bobble his passes away for turnovers. I say it a lot watching any games, NBA or college, some players just do things effortlessly, like it's completely natural. He shoots, drives, passes, and picks his man's pocket in this regard. I will admit he really needs to get in a weight room, but he is going to a player that comes in and competes for PT right away. The only player I can think of that has the size and somewhat simillar game as Curry is Nash, I know that's pretty steep, but I truly believe his playmaking abilities were overshadowed by the fact that only himself and possibly Andrew Lovedale were considered to be D1 caliber players, because of that it's still remarkable to think he had a 2:1 Assist to Ratio turnover.
Thats solid. I think Earl Clark will go top 10, and I sure as hell hope the Warriors dont draft Fylnn. He turns it over at a high rate, wont be a consistant shooter from deep and is small. He's quick ,but I dont think he's going to be a good finisher at the NBA level.
Yet it is impossible to make a list like this until after the lottery. I have a feeling that Ty Lawson will be taken before Flynn and Curry, not because of ability, but because of the NCAA tournament.
lawson is nice but I doubt he is taken before Curry. Also Flynn upside may have people excited. This is just a great year for point guards. I would love to see the Lakers move up and grab somebody. Farmar has kind of stalled lately
good mock but i don't think the clips take thabeet at #3. IF they get #3, i think they take harden or jennnings (after he rises in workouts) b4 thabeet.
Also, man how long did it take u to write all that?!
I have written stuff like that and he only did 10 pics, They may have take like 15 to 20 minutes. When I wrote like a whole draft worth, it took me a little bit over an hour. It took more time trying to get the order because after that it is just putting your knowledge on paper.
That's a great display of objective basketball opinion and reading it I can tell your someone that follows the game and understands it..quite refreshing. I'm not sold on Evans going to memphis, I dont think he would be a good mix with their two young shooters Mayo and Gay. If they go point I think they go with one of the true points like Lawson, Flynn, Curry or Jennings. Personally I think if they have the opportunity to go big with Thabeet or Hill they go that route and give Conley one more year to show what he can do (he was a monster of a prospect coming out of school).
I like the list overall, I'm not sold on Rubio going to the Wizards. I think Thabeet will be their pick. Joran Hill may atully go to the Clippers. I think Harden would be a good fit in OKC, with Durant, Westbrook, and Green (if they can't get Thabeet).
I agree with eprizzle, Earl Clark is going to go in the lotttery. He's too talented. I think Flynn will be taken that high. I think people will take Jennings higher than Flynn (I'm not sure about either one of them). I also think that Henderson and Jrue Holiday could also work into the lottery.
The sonics mey take Hill, but they will regret it
All right. Great list. Just Jordan Hill n.3 instead of Thabeet for Clips and Rubio at Washington with Arenas make me sick. Then Curry. Really, who can pick Curry in the top ten? I know he has great fans in media guys in the US, but i don't think is a point guard and as sg at the defensive end is not better than Reddick. Maybe an NBA player, for sure not a top ten pick.