Each slide of my first mock draft contains a look at each lottery team's roster, which free agents are set to relocate or resign with their respective teams, a quick look at each team's draft needs, and in the end, which player each team should pick to help improve their unit.
I know the NBA Draft Lottery on May 19 will affect how the actual draft order will end up. So this slide show is based on team records at this season's end.
All players are eligible for my mock draft, unless they have verbally come out and said they are returning to school.
Next to each team's record is the percentage that team has at winning the NBA Draft Lottery.
So let's get this rolling.
On the clock...Sacramento Kings
Rumor has it that the Maloof brothers have downgraded from private jets to commercial airlines. The Sacramento Kings are following their lead.
Once talked about as an elite team alongside the Lakers, Mavericks, and the Spurs, the Kings have been demoted to the worst team in the NBA.
Chris Webber, Mike Bibby, Ron Artest, and Gerald Wallace were all shipped out of town, while the likes of Peja Stojakovic and Hedo Turkoglu left via free agency.
Instead of trading draft picks away for key players, which they abused in the past, they have been going in reverse in recent years, using the picks to bring in younger, talented players.
SG Kevin Martin has exploded onto the NBA scene, averaging 24 points per game.
The Kings have been able to stockpile their team with young, promising players via the draft and trades. They have addressed big men in the lottery the past two drafts, bringing in C Spencer Hawes and PF Jason Thompson.
They have also traded for the likes of Donte Greene, Ike Diogu, Rashad McCants, and Andres Nocioni.
Free Agents: SG Rashad McCants, PF Ike Diogu, PG Bobby Jackson
Team Needs: 1. PG, 2. PF/C
Bobby Jackson?? Really?? At 36 years old, his days as a starting point guard have to be dwindling. With Beno Udrih behind him, they need a huge upgrade at the PG position.
If I was GM Geoff Petrie, I would definitely look hard at bringing in Brandon Jennings or Ricky Rubio to lead my young team in the near future.
Trading down is also a possibility, looking to get a PG later in the lottery and the chance to add some more draft picks at the same time.
If they decide to stick with the No. 1 overall pick, there's no way they pass up on the best player in college basketball.
With the first pick in the 2009 NBA Draft, the Sacramento Kings select:
PF Blake Griffin (6'10", 250), Oklahoma
NBA Comparison: Carlos Boozer, Utah Jazz
For a team with a whole lot of good players, they produced a whole lot of losses. The Clippers are kicking themselves for signing Baron Davis to that ridiculous contract.
Eric Gordon and Al Thornton are two phenomenal athletes who the Clippers should have started to build around.
Signing Baron Davis, and trading for Marcus Camby and Zach Randolph weren't the answers. They wasted their entire payroll on those three, and will be stuck with them for years to come.
Drafting DeAndre Jordan in the second round was a steal. Predicted to go in the late teens in the 2008 NBA Draft, his stock plummeted. He is premature, but in a few years, he could turn into a beast.
They tried as hard as they could, but in the end, they couldn't get rid of Chris Kaman. They will try again in the off-season for any takers.
Free Agents: SG Ricky Davis, SF Steve Novak, PG Fred Jones
Team Needs: 1. PG, 2. SF
With a line-up of Baron Davis, Eric Gordon, Al Thornton, Zach Randolph, and Chris Kaman (Marcus Camby coming off the bench), they should have been much better than their record shows.
Baron Davis' knees aren't getting any younger, and with the opportunity to draft the next Steve Nash, Mike Dunleavy Sr. can't say no.
With the second pick in the NBA Draft, the Los Angeles Clippers select:
PG Ricky Rubio (6'3", 180), DKV Joventut
NBA Comparison: Steve Nash
The Wizards went from 2008 playoff participants to the worst team in the East. Without Gilbert Arenas, the Washington Wizards have been a huge disappointment.
The firing of Coach Eddie Jordan and the injury bug were also huge reasons for their tumble.
With a combination of Antawn Jamison and Caron Butler, you would expect a better record than 15-51.
Loaded with young talent, the Wizards aren't in horrible shape. Scattered on the roster are Andray Blatche, Javaris Crittenton, JaVale McGee, Dominic McGuire, and Nick Young.
All five of those players are 23 or younger. With some time on the court and the experience being around All-Stars like Gilbert Arenas, Caron Butler, and Antawn Jamison, they give the Wizards a bright outlook.
Giving the head coaching position to someone who has a ton of experience in Flip Saunders was a move in the right direction.
Free Agents: PG/SG Juan Dixon, PG Mike James, C Etan Thomas
Team Needs: 1. SF, 2. PG/PF
Like I stated above, this team has young depth all over its roster. Caron Butler is the only pure small forward on the squad and they could look to add a back up for him.
Besides that position, I wouldn't be surprised to see the Wizards draft the best available player on draft night.
With the third pick in the NBA Draft, the Washington Wizards select:
C Hasheem Thabeet (7'3", 263), UConn Huskies
NBA Comparison: Dikembe Mutombo
As Kevin Durant's play continues to sky rocket, the overall play of the Oklahoma City Thunder seems to get worse.
Before Sam Presti was introduced as GM, it was Robert Swift and Saer Sene. After Sam Presti was introduced as GM, it was Kevin Durant, Jeff Green, and Russell Westbrook. Catch my drift?
With three players over the age of 30 on the roster, you don't get much younger than the Oklahoma City Thunder. With no solid veterans to look up to, this youthful Thunder unit doesn't know in which direction to go.
In the NBA, it is all about veteran leadership and experience. With such a young roster, it will be a while before this team even gets a whiff of the playoffs.
Kevin Durant is the only sure-fire future All Star on the roster. Russell Westbrook and Jeff Green are also two promising players for the Thunder.
Thabo Sefolosha, Nenad Kristic, and Robert Swift haven't proven themselves yet in the NBA.
Free Agents: SG Damien Wilkins, SG Desmond Mason, PF Malik Rose, C Robert Swift
Team Needs: 1. SG, 2. PF/C
The Oklahoma City Thunder can go in one of two ways: Draft a shooting guard, keep Kevin Durant at SF, and hold Jeff Green at PF or they can add a big man, push Kevin Durant to SG, and put Jeff Green back to SF.
Neither option is out of the question, whether they go shooting guard or big man. Whomever they select will tell you which of those two scenarios I talked about above is the direction they are looking to go in.
Sam Presti is one of the best when it comes to scouting talent and will improve this team no matter what.
With the fourth pick in the NBA Draft, the Oklahoma City Thunder select:
PF Jordan Hill (6'10", 235), Arizona Wildcats
NBA Comparison: Al Horford
Memphis fans should be thanking the Timberwolves for gift wrapping them O.J. Mayo on draft night last year.
O.J! O.J.! O.J.! He leads rookies in scoring at 18.4 PPG. If it weren't for the play of Derrick Rose and his ability to help drive the Bulls into the playoffs, the Rookie of the Year trophy would be handed to Mr. Mayo.
Rudy Gay is one of the most underappreciated, undervalued players in the NBA. With his long arms and freakish athletic ability, Rudy Gay not only can score night after night but can do all the little things too.
The Grizz have a roster full of 7-footers. Marc Gasol, Darko Milicic, Chris Mihm, and Hamed Haddadi. Rumors are swirling around that Marc Gasol has spoken about a return back overseas whether it be after this year or when his contract is up, they can't afford to lose him, even with all the height they have.
Chosen between All-Stars LeBron James and Carmelo Anthony, Darko Milicic has not been the player praised about a few years back. Chris Mihm will probably walk after this season as a free agent and Hamed Haddadi hasn't shown he can play in the NBA just yet.
Free Agents: PF Hakim Warrick, C Chris Mihm, SF Quinton Ross, PG Mike Wilks
Team Needs: 1. PG, 2. PF/C
The Grizzlies have O.J. Mayo slotted in at shooting guard for years to come, and the same can be said for Rudy Gay at small forward.
They drafted Mike Conley Jr. two years ago to be there future point guard, but he hasn't lived up to expectations. Darrell Arthur is still immature and young.
If they know for a fact Marc Gasol is staying and Mike Conley Jr. isn't the answer at PG. The Grizz should put some serious consideration into trading Mike Conley Jr. and drafting a point guard. With that being said...
With the fifth pick in the NBA Draft, the Memphis Grizzlies select:
PG Brandon Jennings (6'1", 170), Lottomatica Roma
NBA Comparison: Allen Iverson
I might have some haters here, but I have been very high on Brandon Jennings since he was lighting it up early in his high school career. It might have hurt him going overseas, but in my eyes, I see a star in the making, and whoever has the opportunity to draft Brandon Jennings is getting one hell of a talent.
K.G. WHO? Before having to call it quits for the season after tearing his ACL, Al Jefferson was the only bright spot on a crummy team.
Trading Brandon Roy for Randy Foye on draft night three years ago, then drafting O.J. Mayo and sending his rights to the Grizzlies last year seem to be haunting the Minnesota Timberwolves.
Draft nights the past few years have been devastating for the Wolves. Randy Foye and Corey Brewer are looking likes complete busts.
Sebastian Telfair has been tearing it up as of late and could fight to be the starting point guard next season. Having Telfair start at point will allow Randy Foye to play his natural position of shooting guard.
With a healthy Al Jefferson clogging up the middle and Kevin Love helping out down low, sharp shooter Mike Miller has the opportunity to nail 3's at the small forward position.
Free Agents: PG Bobby Brown, SF Rodney Carney, C Jason Collins, PG Kevin Ollie, PF Shelden Williams
Team Needs: 1. SF, 2. SG
With three first round draft picks in the upcoming draft, the Wolves could use one of those in a package deal to move up if they fall in the lottery. Or they can keep all three picks and load up on some more young talent.
Corey Brewer just hasn't been cutting it. Randy Foye has been in and out with injury problems.
Mike Miller is a free agent next season, and if Minnesota doesn't look like a playoff contender come trade day next year, look for Mike Miller's name to come up in trade rumors.
With so many picks in the 2009 NBA Draft, the T'Wolves can afford to select a freshman talent. It all depends on if they want to use their lottery pick on one or wait to use it with one of their other two picks.
If the Wolves think they can make the leap to playoff contender, they will use their lottery pick on someone that can come in, play immediately and help this team back to the playoffs. I believe that is there mindset with a healthy Al Jefferson.
With the sixth pick in the NBA Draft, the Minnesota Timberwolves select:
SG James Harden (6'5", 250), Arizona State Sun Devils
NBA Comparison: Manu Ginobili
When you have a roster full of me-first players on your NBA team, you're looking at the lottery every year.
Jamal Crawford, Corey Maggette, and Stephen Jackson are all selfish players. Whenever on the court, they always need the ball in their hands and require to take every shot.
Gifted athletes on the Warriors roster include Anthony Randolph, Brandan Wright, Anthony Morrow, Monta Ellis, Kelenna Azubuike, and Andris Biedrins.
Anthony Morrow went from undrafted rookie to leading the NBA in 3-point percentage, one of the few impressive outcomes of the season.
For the downside, Jamal Crawford has already been told by head coach Don Nelson, he is not wanted back next year. It is up to Jamal if he wants to continue to his career in a Golden State uniform or test the free agency market.
Free Agents: SF Rob Kurz, PG/SG Jamal Crawford (Early Termination Option), PG C.J. Watson
Team Needs: 1. PG, 2. PF
The Warriors are loaded with talented small forwards. Monta Ellis is the future at the shooting guard position.
Right now they have a 19 year old, Anthony Randolph, starting at power forward. He fits the mold more of a small forward though. If he continues to perform like the way he has been playing the past few weeks, he could take over the small forward position next year.
The Warriors are in desperate need of a reliable point guard. The only true point guard on the roster is C.J. Watson, and he is a free agent. Jamal Crawford and Monta Ellis have taken turns at the point guard position, but they are both scoring guards. And like I said, Mr. Crawford was told he is not wanted back.
With Ricky Rubio and Brandon Jennings both off of the board, there is no legit point guard taking with the seventh pick overall, but we are talking about the Warriors.
They can either trade down or hold onto the pick and...
With the seventh pick in the NBA Draft, the Golden State Warriors select:
PG Willie Warren (6'4", 210), Oklahoma Sooners
NBA Comparison: Ben Gordon
Is 2010 here yet? I thought we would see a New York Knicks winning season, years before we saw Isiah Thomas get another head coaching job. Welp, guess I was wrong.
This team overpaid and overtraded for Eddy Curry, overpaid for Jared Jeffries, got stuck with ball hog Larry Hughes, and got stuck with Al Harrington.
Thankfully all of those players will vanish from the roster just in time for the praised 2010 free agent period.
Danilo Gallinari was a non-factor this season with a back injury.
Besides all the useless talent the Knicks have absorbed over the years, there WERE some bright spots.
Nate Robinson and David Lee have turned out to be phenomenal.
Nate Robinson turned out to be one of the best sixth men in the league this season. On top of that, Krypto-Nate won the Slam Dunk Contest. The Sacramento Kings are in love with Nate and could look to steal him from the Knicks.
David Lee led the league with 65 double-doubles. When you have more double-doubles in one season than Dwight Howard, you are pretty damn good.
David Lee brought energy under the basket and has done everything asked of him since he arrived at the Garden.
They brought in Chris Duhon to lead the team as their starting point guard, but that hasn't turned out to be the deal.
With the Knicks looking to cash in, in 2010, there's a strong possibility you will be seeing Nate Robinson and David Lee in different uniforms come next season.
Free Agents: PF David Lee, PG Nate Robinson, C Eddy Curry (Early Termination Option), PF Al Harrington, SG Quentin Richardson (Early Termination Option), PF Chris Wilcox
Team Needs: 1. C, 2. SG, 3. PF
For the 2010-2011 New York Knicks season, you are going to be seeing a lot of new faces.
Wilson Chandler and Chris Duhon look like the only hold over's on the roster right now for the 2010 season.
The Knicks can gamble on a freshman talent and let him play from day one knowing the deal come 2010. Or they can draft a big man to groom for years to come.
With the eighth pick in the NBA Draft, the New York Knicks select:
PF Donatas Motiejunas (7', 210), Lithuania
NBA Comparison: Toni Kukoc
This season didn't turn out the way the Toronto Raptors envisioned it happening. Next year, most likely, is the last time you will see Chris Bosh in a Raptors uniform.
Jermaine O'Neal obviously wasn't the answer, so they shipped him out before the trade deadline for Shawn Marion and his expiring contract.
Jason Kapono can shoot lights out behind the three point line, but besides that, he is irrelevant. Andrea Bargnani hasn't turned out to be the dominate player the Raptors thought they were getting when he was drafted No. 1 overall in 2006.
After trading T.J. Ford, they were left with Jose Calderon, who hasn't come close to performing this year like he did last year.
Free Agents: SG Joey Graham, F Shawn Marion, SG Anthony Parker, C Jake Voskuhl
Team Needs: EVERYTHING
With the chance of Chris Bosh leaving in 2010, it's time for the Toronto Raptors to just start all over. They have solid players on their roster, but they are mainly role/bench players.
No true stars besides Chris Bosh and Shawn Marion play for the Raptors.
With that being said, why not get the next Vince Carter like they did in '98?
With the eighth pick in the NBA Draft, the Toronto Raptors select:
SG DeMar DeRozan (6'6", 210), USC Trojans
NBA Comparison: Vince Carter
Injuries were the main reason why the loss column for the Bucks increased so much.
Michael Redd—torn ACL—out for season
Andrew Bogut—stress fracture (back)—out for season
Ramon Sessions came out of nowhere to take over as starting point guard, stealing the job from Luke Ridnour.
Richard Jefferson, disappointed he was traded to the Bucks last year on draft night, put up regular Richard Jefferson numbers dropping 19.5 PPG.
After Andrew Bogut went down, Charlie Villanueva took over underneath and showed signs of stardom here and there.
Free Agents: PG Ramon Sessions, PF Charlie Villanueva, PF Malik Allen, SG Keith Bogans, C Fransisco Elson, PG Damon Jones
Team Needs: 1. SG, 2. PF, 3. PG
There's a possibility Michael Redd will be traded next year as he becomes a free agent after next season. Ramon Sessions might run off for more money after his performance this year.
Charlie Villanueva is a free agent, but he has spoken out and said he hopes to be re-signed by the Bucks. (Is he crazy?)
Richard Jefferson and last year's first round pick Joe Alexander clog up the small forward position.
The Bucks could go in so many directions in this draft. If I was GM, I would try to make a splash and take a chance on a prospect that has the ability to turn into an All-Star.
With the 10th pick in the NBA Draft, the Milwaukee Bucks select:
SG Tyreke Evans (6'6", 220), Memphis Tigers
NBA Comparison: Jamal Crawford
With Devin Harris leading the way, the New Jersey Nets could turn into season playoff contenders next year.
Devin Harris played like one of the best point guards all season. The Nets had an opportunity to reach the playoffs, but they just didn't have it in them.
The Nets are loaded with tall, young talent in Brook Lopez, Ryan Anderson, Josh Boone, and Yi Jianlian.
Brook Lopez turned out to be a surprise underneath. While Vince Carter, well, played like Vince Carter.
Free Agents: SF Maurice Ager, SF Trenton Hassell, SF Jarvis Hayes
Team Needs: 1. SF, 2. SG
With all of the youth on the Nets consuming the area underneath the basket and the leader of this team taking the role as point guard, they could go in two different directions.
Vince Carter is pushing 33, and his knees aren't like they were back in Toronto. If the Nets have a shot at trading Vince Carter, they shouldn't hesitate.
Bobby Simmons isn't the answer at small forward either.
With the 11th pick in the NBA Draft, the New Jersey Nets select:
SF Earl Clark (6'9", 200), Louisville Cardinals
NBA Comparison: Danny Granger
Larry Brown? Bobcats? Playoffs? Almost.
After receiving a fat contract, Emeka Okafor will be rocking a Bobcats jersey for the next five years.
Fighting injuries, Gerald Wallace was able to put together a solid season with 17 PPG and 8 RPG.
Raymond Felton and D.J. Augustin fought over who would be the starting point guard.
Mustache Morrison was traded (finally) to the Lakers. The 'Cats picked up Boris Diaw and Raja Bell for Jason Richardson.
They made a strong push for the last playoff spot in the Eastern Conference, but a couple of games didn't fall their way.
Free Agents: PG Raymond Felton, G/F Cartier Martin, PF Sean May, PG Sean Singletary, PF Juwan Howard
Team Needs: 1. SG, 2. PF
Before D.J. Augustin, the Bobcats management had no idea what they were doing via trades/draft. Drafting Adam Morrison and Sean May and trading a lottery pick for Jason Richardson set the Bobcats back a couple of years.
They could really use someone to knock down three's or somebody to knock around underneath the basket alongside Emeka Okafor.
They thought bringing in local boy Sean May would help out the franchise. That turned around to bite them in the butt. I wouldn't be surprised if they try it again.
With the 12th pick in the NBA Draft, the Charlotte Bobcats select:
PG/SG Stephen Curry (6'3", 185), Davidson Wildcats
NBA Comparison: J.J. Redick
The future is looking bright in Indiana.
Before getting hurt, Danny Granger suited up for his first ever All-Star game. If he excels in the future as he did this season, he will be ending his career with multiple All-Star game appearances and maybe a couple First-Team All NBA Awards.
T.J. Ford and Jarrett Jack held down the fort in the back court. Rookie Brandon Rush showed indications that he could perform at the next level.
Troy Murphy ended the season as the second leading rebounder in the league behind possible Defensive Player of the Year, Dwight Howard.
Long, talented 7'2" Roy Hibbert teamed up with Troy Murphy to make a solid 1-2 punch below the bucket.
Free Agents: PG Jarrett Jack, PF Josh McRoberts, PF Maceo Baston, SG Marquis Daniels, PG Travis Diener, SF Stephen Graham, C Rasho Nesterovic
Team Needs: 1. PF, 2. PG
With Jarrett Jack becoming a free agent, T.J. Ford will most likely be asked to return to his natural position at point guard if Jarrett cannot be retained.
Danny Granger is holding down the small forward position. Brandon Rush and Mike Dunleavy Jr. have the shooting guard position on lock.
With a lot of talent holding down the starting positions on this Pacers squad, they could look to add depth at the PG or PF position.
With the 13th pick in the NBA Draft, the Indiana Pacers select:
PF James Johnson ( 6'9", 245), Wake Forest Demon Deacons
NBA Comparison: Antawn Jamison
At 10 games above .500 and a record of 46-36, the Suns would have received a five seed in the Eastern Conference.
Steve Nash—35 years old
Shaq—37 years old
Grant Hill—36 years old
The Phoenix Suns are not getting any younger. It sounds as if it might be rebuilding time in Arizona.
Amare becomes a free agent after this season, and there were trade deadline rumors this season that he would depart from Phoenix. Look for those rumors to start back up again the same time next season if the Suns aren't winning.
Shaq has recently asked to be traded, particularly to rival Dallas Mavericks.
We haven't seen the same old Steve Nash since his last MVP trophy.
Robin Lopez is the only real legit building block they have if the "rebuilding" term gets thrown around.
Free Agents: PF Louis Amundson, SF Matt Barnes, SF Grant Hill, PF Stromile Swift
Team Needs: 1. PG, 2. SF
This Suns team all depends on one person—Amare Stoudemire. He is only 26 years old and still has a lot left in the tank.
To re-sign Amare and have him paired up next to Robin Lopez would be a deadly combo under the net.
The Suns are in desperate need of a point guard to replace Steve Nash. With Jeff Teague, Ty Lawson, Jonny Flynn, Eric Maynor, and Darren Collison all available they shouldn't have a problem choosing one.
With the 14th pick in the NBA Draft, the Phoenix Suns select:
PG Jonny Flynn (6', 186), Syracuse Orangemen