Tuesday, June 17, 2008

2008 NBA Monday Mock Draft (t minus 9 days)

Well DraftExpress has the measurements from Orlando , which is what I was waiting for to do a full first round mock draft. I have watched most prospects extensively over the past year and the few I have not had a chance to see a lot I have some trusted resources to get informed about their NBA prospects. Since the Orlando pre-draft camp concluded, the internet has been spitting out a lot of (mis)information regarding the thoughts of NBA GMs concerning prospects and the draft in general. When reading articles, even those with direct quotes, you have to understand that most GMs are using the media to push an agenda. Some are just flat out lying. NBA teams are well versed on the internet rumor game now, so even when information is "leaked", you have to be skeptical.

This mock draft is based on what I think each NBA GM will do when it is their time to send that index card up with the players that are still on the board. I consider the GMs drafting history, team needs and the team's culture. Last year's draft was very active with 12 draft day trades and I suspect the 2008 draft to surpass that activity due to so many "beauty in the eye of the beholder" prospects available from 3-30. Hopefully, this will be the offseason that the Grizzlies finally build a championship contending foundation.

1. Derrick Rose - University of Memphis
Rose's hype machine has elevated him to the #1 pick in the NBA draft and just proves that it does not matter what you do, it matters when you do it. Although Rose was the consensus #2 player most of the year, his status has gone from real good prospect to can't miss. I don't buy it. Rose has breath taking athleticism in the open court which makes everyone drool. However, he is considerably less spectacular in the half court. He has the potential to to become a superstar but it is not the lock that is being portrayed right now. There is no way Chicago can even think about passing him up and they are simply wasting time even bringing Beasley in for a workout.

2. Micheal Beasley - Kansas State University

Pat Riley might not like his approach to the game but there is no way Beasley is not drafted second overall at this point. The Heat could might trade this pick but they would be giving up a sure All Star that is likely to perform at All Star levels on his rookie contract. That is big value in the NBA. Beasley will be one of the best scorers in the leauge even as a rookie. He just has to much to offer on the offensive end. Some pundits will cry about his 6'8.5 height but his skill level is so high that it won't matter. He will score and he will board at All Star levels.

3. O. J. Mayo, University of Southern California

Mayo has established himself as the third best prospect in the draft at this point and I doubt even Kevin McHale would pass him up to fill an obvious need the Wolves have in the front court. Mayo will team with Randy Foye much the same way that Miami wants t pair him with Wade. They will both alternate between playmaker and scoring roles. Mayo and Corey Brewer should give them a very potent perimeter defense in the future and McCants should slip into the 6th man role off the bench.

4. Jerryd Bayless - University of Arizona

umors hit soon after the lottery that the Sonics wanted Bayless at this spot and I think they are true. Bayless is a superb athlete and already has a NBA style offensive game with fakes and freezes that gets him to the free throw line. He is Monta Ellis with 3 point range. He has refused to workout for the Grizzlies due to fit.

5. Danilo Gallinari, Armani Jeans Milano

When Chris Wallace returned from his trip to see Gallinari live in Europe, I had the impression that he really liked his game. Unlike other European talents to come to the NBA, Gallinari has much experience as the first option on his team at a young age. Although not a deadeye shooter, Gallinari is a versatile offensive performer that could thrive playing opposite Rudy Gay. He supposedly measured 6'10 in shoes in a recent private workout with the Grizz and has displayed the skill of a guard.

6. Eric Gordon - Indiana University
Undersized as a NBA shooting guard, Gordon tested out over the top athletically which should help him compensate. Gordon was the 2nd best player in college prior to breaking his wrist and the Kelvin Sampson fiasco torpedoed Indiana's season. The best shooter in the draft, he can get his shot off with a variety of off the dribble moves. Great spotting up and attacks the basket with power and agression. Gets to the line at an elite clip.

7. Russell Westbrook - University of California at Los Angeles

The Clippers are in desperate need of athleticism and skill in the backcourt. Westbrook brings both. Although his point guard skill level needs to improve, he has the size and athleticism to compete from day one. He should excel on defense and pushing the tempo. If Brand and Maggette return as expected, Westbrook and a healthy Livingston might be enough to put the Clippers back in the Western Conference playoffs.

8. Anthony Randolph - Lousiana State University

Anthony Randolph gives the Bucks a long, athletic and versatile frontline. Bogut, Yi and Randolph could become dominant in three years as their skills compliment one another very well. If new GM John Hammonds can somehow get his backcourt to start running the offense threw Bogut, this team would have a chance to get into the 2009 Eastern Conference playoffs.

9. Kevin Love, University of California at Los Angeles

Love gives the Bobcats a skilled big to play opposite Okafor. Love and Emeka should form a good pair as each should be able to cover the weakness of the other. Love will bring added toughness and rebounding along an ability to play pick and pop with their trio of ballhandlers (Felton, Wallace, Richardson). He also adds shooting to a team starting a SF that has an inconsistent jumpshot.

10. Brook Lopez, Stanford Unversity

The Nets lack a big post player in the middle of their offense and defense. Lopez will provide a big body that they lack on their roster while their young power forwards should be able to cover for his relative lack of athleticism. If he can draw some double teams on the post, Lopez will become a valuable part of this on the fly rebuilding effort.

11. D.J. Augustin - University of Texas

The Pacers want someone to take over for the oft-injured Jamaal Tinsley in the backcourt. Augustin is probably the most talented point guard not named Rose. His size (5'11) is questionable but he has the length of other comparable small point guards drafted recently. He should provide leadership immediately and he is a model citizen and good student. This is a good fit for him and the pacers.

12. Joe Alexander - West Virginia University

I doubt that the Kings extend Artest even if he does not opt out of his contract. Alexander would give them a great replacement and has the elite athleticism to develop into a difference maker playing with Kevin Martin. The Kings would love to get hold of Augustin or Westbrook to man the point but they take Alexander as the best talent available. Alexander can play alongside Artest this season as an undersized power forward until his handle comes around.

13. Donte Green - Syracuse University

The Trailblazers are not likely to keep this pick but if they do then Green fills a need for length and increased 3 point shooting. Green and Aldridge would give the future monster, Greg Oden, plenty of room to operate in the middle and the length of the front line should give the opponents fits for the next decade. Green just seems destined to make big game jumpers for a long time.

14. Kosta Kufos - The Ohio State University

Coming off a dominant summer, Kufos had disappointing college season. He was not seen as agressive or physical enough for most scouts. What did not change though is his high skill level for a player his size. He can shoot and he can defend the basket. He will have a place in the league. He definitely has the athleticism to be a factor on a running team and could be used to draw centers out of the post so Monta Ellis can drive. Could be a good compliment to their young front line of Biedrens and Wright.

15. DeAndre Jordan - Texas A&M University

Jordan was seen as a big disappointment as the season went forward. Came out early with a bang and was the projected #1 pick overall by some draft sites. Did not test well in Orlando but watching him lets you know that he runs the court as well as any big in the league and is very athletic. Who better to learn from in the NBA than Shaq and Amare? If they can not help him make it as an athletic big in the NBA then he is truly a lost cause. Can he be ready when Daddy Diesel burns out?

16. Philadelphia 76ers - Brandon Rush - Kansas University

17. Toronto Raptors - Marreese Speights - University of Florida

18. Washington Wizards - Darrell Arthur - Kansas University

19. Cleveland Cavaliers - Robin Lopez - Stanford University

20. Denver Nuggets - Nicolas Batum - Le Mans Sarthe Basket

21. New Jersey Nets - Chris Douglas-Roberts - University of Memphis

22. Orlando Magic - JaVale McGee - University of Nevada

23. Utah Jazz - Omer Asik - Fenerbahce Ulker

24. Seattle Supersonics - Serge Ibaka - CB L'Hospitalet

25. Houston Rockets -Courtney Lee - Western Kentucky

26. San Antonio Spurs - Mario Chalmers - Kansas

27. New Orleans Hornets - Roy Hibbert, Georgetown

28. Memphis Grizzlies - D.J. White - Indiana University

29. Detroit Pistons - Bill Walker - Kansas State University

30. Boston Celtics - J.J. Hickson - North Carolina University

Comments appreciated....


Shawn said...

Well, I like our 5th pick. I am also holding out hope that we can trade back into the lottery.

Anonymous said...

great job

ht said...

i'd be very happy if it shakes out like that.

Anonymous said...

Good job. I would prefer Gallinari to Love although it would be great if we could swing a deal to get Beasley or Mayo. Both of them would skyrocket ticket sales. NBadraft.net has us getting Love with the explanation that it would be "par for the course" of the Griz to get someone that should be drafted much lower.

tommyh said...

Gallinari would be interesting, but I think we should trade up to get Beasley. If we do that, we could really push to sign Monta Ellis because we would probably have to give Mike Miller up. At 28,we could go after the best player available- CDR, Bill Walker, Joey Dorsey, DJ White, Nicholas Batum, Devon Hardin, or someone else that has a lot of talent and could crack into the rotation immediately. Imagine a core of Mike Conley, Monta Ellis, Rudy Gay, and Michael Beasley. That's a playoff team really soon and with some more tweaks we could have a championship caliber team in the next 3 or 4 years. Another route we would take is to take Eric Gordon at five and trade Mike Miller to a team like Portland for a late lottery pick and get someone like Darell Arthur or DeAndre Jordan. But it would be so awesome if we could get Beasley and Ellis this summer, and perhaps Marc Gasol and Juan Carlos Navarro. But I'm afraid the front office will be too cheap do spend the kind of money that it would require. It would increase ticket sales immensely and we would be a really really talented, young team. But still, Gallinari is intriguing.

Anonymous said...

I like the idea of trading Miller for a late lottery pick but I doubt Wallace would as he has said that he sees Miller here in October. Not too smart. Miller is a defensive liability at the 2 or 3. We need to move him now after he had such a good year last year and can get some value for him. (See what happened to Gasol. We waited and got nothing but a paper bag for him. Trade high not low.)
I would try our best to get Beasley even if it means trading Conley. We have extra cap room so we could take one of Miami's big contracts. That would probably work if Wallace has the guts. Our #5, Conley and take one of their contracts for Beese. Galinari is interesting but he also plays the same position as Gay. Gordon or Westbrook have more of an upside than Love. But neither has shown any interest in playing here. Mayo will be working out in Chi for us and 2 other teams. If we can't get Beese than we should try our best to get Mayo who will go to MN at 3.
Then we draft Galinari at 5 and trade him and Lowery to MN for Mayo. Then both teams would get what they really need. Then we could trade Miller for a late draft pick like Darrel Arthur.

Anonymous said...

We should trade the #5 and Kyle Lowry for the #3 pick and take Mayo if we can. Then we could go after Josh Smith or Emeka Okafor in free agency. Also, we could trade Mike Miller for a late lottery pick and get DeAndre Jordan. Miller's value is not going to get any better than it is now so we need to capitalize on it. If we don't do that slew of trades, then we need to somehow get Beasley, even if it means giving up Mike and Kyle along with the 5th pick. Like tommyh said, we could go after Ellis in free agency. Of course, all of this is much easier said than done, and I don't think Wallace has the nads to go ahead and completely rebuild starting with multiple picks in this draft. Plus Heisley is all about cutting costs. Man I hate Heisley.

frnz said...

Brandon Rush and Darrell Arthur should be in the top 10, in my opinion. They're great role players. San Antonio would do great if they get Mario Chalmers..i really hope they would.. over-all, nice list..

Shawn said...

First I think Gallinari can play the 2, 3, and 4. I thin think the most interesting is him at the 2. I would like Beasely, but I wouldn't trade the farm. No ONE in this draft is a sure thing. They are all potential at this point. Dont trade two four birds in the hand for one in the bush. Third, I wouldn't go for Ellis. He is a too much of a defensive liability with either conley or lowry at the point. If we get mayo then maybe. But I still like Conley at the 1. I think ppl are going too much off of one injury filled rookie season. I think an important question on the beasley front is how likely it is that we can trade for a second pick in the lottery. Would you trade both love and Gallinari for Beasely? Possibly, even probably. But I think you have to consider that if we trade up for Beasely all other trades would be much more difficult. just some thoughts...

Anonymous said...

Wouldn't be surprised if Memphis worked out a three-team deal with Miami and Minnesota.

Riley might be faking, but reportedly he's not crazy about Beasley's playfulness, wants Mayo.

If Mayo is the consensus #3 pick, They don't need Beasley with Al Jefferson at PF.

This is where having all these draft picks, young players and cap space come in handy. We have the pieces to help Miami and 'Sota get what they want. And help us get what WE want.

By the way, is anyone else laughing about Pau's performance in the Finals? Still like him as a player, but he clearly demonstrated that you don't want to bet the game on him. . . .


ht said...

"Imagine a core of Mike Conley, Monta Ellis, Rudy Gay, and Michael Beasley."

If possible, this would be nuts

Anonymous said...

Anonymous: I didn't watch the whole game but they showed replays of Pau falling down and then getting the ball stolen. He looked like the Pau that played for us in the playoffs. I bet Wallace was really relieved the Celts won. Back to the draft: I read the MN blog about Love's workout the other day. The comments were that he had an awesome workout and Mchale was really impressed.
I think if Wallace wants to get Mayo then MN would deal him for Love and a PG.

John said...

Yeah we need to trade up and get Mayo or Beasley at all costs. We need a superstar and Love won't give us a superstar. Mayo or Beasley would.

Anonymous said...

To the guy who said the Wolves wouldn't want Beasley because we have Jefferson I would like to straighten him out. Beasley can play the 3-4 and Jefferson can play the 4-5. Wolves would then do what it takes to get a Center and have an awesome front court. Don't think in a million years the Wolves would want to trade the pick or the rights to Beasley. You might be able to get Mayo for Love and Mike Miller if you take back Marko Jarics contract.

Grant said...

We HAVE to trade up at all costs protecting Gay and maybe Conley to get beasley or mayo. we need to give help to Gay desperately