Mock NBA draft lottery: The top 14 picks

Tue, 05/20/2008 - 10:20am
By Aran Smith


With today's lottery, the selections are now set for the 2008 NBA draft. So without further ado, here's how we see the first 14 picks of the draft playing out, for now...


Derrick Rose

The Chi-town product who wears the same number as a certain former Bull and also happens to hang out with MJ's son Marcus (the two are dating Chicago area twin sisters) is a perfect fit for a team looking to upgrade their point guard position. It was meant to be that the Bulls would land Rose, the type of talent that can and should finally turn this franchise around to become contenders once again.

Michael Beasley So much for karma. After a legendary tank job, many felt the Heat deserved to have a pick outside the top two. But they were rewarded for their efforts in futility with the second pick (likely Beasley), a franchise talent who will quickly help them get back into the playoffs and be a force in the East for years to come.

Brook Lopez Minnesota essentially has the first pick of the rest of the draft. The Timberwolves will take a long look at the guard options here with Bayless and Mayo, but with Randy Foye already on board, look for them to go the safe route and add size with Lopez at 3. Lopez is the most NBA ready center in the draft and should be a solid piece in their rebuilding process.

Jerryd Bayless The Sonics fell short of winning the ultimate prizes with Beasley and Rose but likely will have their choice between Bayless and Mayo. With Durant and Green already in the fold, a scoring guard like Bayless is a potential bigtime talent to add to their nucleus.
OJ Mayo Mayo's name has been dragged through the mud recently, but ultimately the story coming out about his illegal benefits will have very little impact on his draft status. While the Griz are stacked at the point guard position (Lowry, Conley and Crittenton), they can always make some deals, and Mayo should be able to play the 2-guard position.

DeAndre Jordan The Knicks can begin the post-Isiah-era with a long term upside type of pick. If the decision is made that Eddy Curry isn't the long term answer in the middle, Jordan makes a lot of sense as an Andrew Bynum high risk/reward type of upside pick.

Danilo Gallinari There is one school of thought that the struggles of countryman Bargnani will cause Gallinari to slip on draft night. That may be the case, and with the Clippers recent history taking draft bust Yarislav Korolev in the lottery in 2005, they could be gun-shy to go European again. Gallinari would give them an immediate impact guy and an outside shooter to complement Brand inside.

Eric Gordon With a glut of forwards (Yi and Villanueva) and the center position in solid shape after drafting Bogut first overall 3 years ago, the Bucks look to grab an instant impact guy in Eric Gordon. Above all else, the Bucks want to change their atmosphere of losing. Michael Redd (29 in August) isn't getting any younger, and Gordon shows star potential despite seeing a dramatic drop off late in the season, which is something that could ultimately cause him to slide on draft night.

Darrell Arthur MJ has shown an unwillingness to sit around and wait for the fruit to ripen on the vine. Look for more of the same in this year's draft as the Bobcats could look to move their pick once again for an established veteran. If they keep the pick, Arthur makes sense as an athletic bigman to groom for the future in Brown's half court oriented system.

Anthony Randolph The Nets are in a great position to grab a "potential pick". They're in a rebuilding mode after their fleece job of Dallas unloading Jason Kidd and grabbing Devin Harris. Randolph has a ton of buzz, and his speed and athleticism should only help him in workouts. But his inability to come in and contribute immediately could ultimately drop him into the late lottery area.

Russell Westbrook With the success of Monta Ellis and Gilbert Arenas, the combo position has never been more en vogue. The Pacers are in need of athleticism and Westbrook is athleticism personified. This might be high for Westbrook, but he should really help his cause in workouts, and was held back to a degree by the conservative UCLA system. The Pacers could also look to go big (Love?) as they're likely to let go of Jeff Foster this summer.

Nicolas Batum Batum is the perfect futures pick. And for a team like Sacramento that is still a long ways away from assembling a contender, Batum offers the perfect swing-for-the-fences option. Like Rudy Gay, his struggles have diminished his draft stock but he's oozing with potential and could end up going higher.

Kevin Love Love is one of the most advanced 19-year-olds that you will ever find. His ability to knock down mid-range and outside shots gives him an excellent safety net. He's got a lot of hype surrounding him, and may never live up to it, but given the right situation he can be productive. Playing at home alongside a dominant bigman such as Greg Oden would be the ultimate situation for Love.

Joe Alexander The Warriors could look to go in a number of directions. Alexander would be an excellent upgrade over Al Harrington at the forward position. JaVale McGee would be a nice long term pick for them if their intention is to unload Baron Davis and build for the future around their young nucleus (Ellis, Biedrins, Wright)
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