The NBA Lottery is done and over with, so now every NBA scout and expert is scrambling around to complete their first authentic mock draft.
After all, how concise can your mock be if you don't even know the order the teams will be picking in?
Regardless of how it stands now, history tells us that it won't stay this way. There will likely be multiple draft-day trades, involving picks, players, and money.
And as far as Blake Griffin going number one overall—almost nothing can stop it. He is, hands down, the most physical, well-rounded, and NBA-ready player in this draft.
Even if the L.A. Clippers opted to get out of the top spot (which they won't), Griffin will still be the first name called.
1. L.A. Clippers—Blake Griffin, PF, Oklahoma
The Clippers already have Zach Randolph and Marcus Camby inside, but Randolph is a character concern, while Camby is getting old. Griffin has elite athleticism and has an uncanny ability to get to the rim and finish.
Anyone outside of Griffin at this spot would be a shock.
2. Memphis Grizzlies—Ricky Rubio, PG, Spain
After trying to trade Mike Conley Jr. up until the trade deadline, it's clear Memphis isn't blown away by his abilities, and they're at least looking for an upgrade. Is that Rubio?
Rubio has all the intangible skills, as well as confidence, that you can ask for in a point guard, but also possesses a sick handle, as well as exceptional passing skills. He's fairly polished after spending the past few years playing with the pros in Europe.
3. Oklahoma City—Hasheem Thabeet, C, UConn
With Russell Westbrook, Kevin Durant, and Jeff Green, it appears the Thunder have the tools necessary in their back-court for a productive future. However, their center prospects haven't dazzled in recent years, and a defensive presence on the inside has become their biggest need.
Thabeet is extremely raw offensively, but is a game-changer on defense. If he can improve his offensive skills and shooting, he could aid the Thunder is a huge turn-around.
4. Sacramento Kings—Jordan Hill, PF/C, Arizona
After trading away Brad Miller, the Kings are now left with a barren inside game, outside of center, Spencer Hawes. They could easily opt for a more explosive option at point guard, but will likely aim to solidify their inside game.
Hill provides solid scoring, and can also be felt on defense. He's a tenacious rebounder, while giving his best effort every time he steps onto the court.
5. Washington Wizards—James Harden, SG, Arizona State
With injuries and inconsistency riddling their 2008-2009 season, Washington needs to get things going in the right direction, and it starts with their offense.
Harden is an extremely aggressive, but efficient player. Easily one of the most complete players at his position, Harden possesses outstanding rebounding and passing skills for a guard, and can score at will.
6. Minnesota Timberwolves—Brandon Jennings, PG, Lottomatica Roma
Think the T'Wolves are done taking chances on point guards? Think again. It's clear that Sebastian Telfair has talent, but he hasn't been producing well enough to pass on a stud like Jennings. With Jennings added, Randy Foye can move to his more natural position, shooting guard.
Jennings may have made the wrong decision in playing overseas, but it's not always about the numbers. He obtained a ton of experience playing professionally, and will be more ready than most of the other college point guards.
7. Golden State Warriors—Stephen Curry, PG/SG, Davidson
If the guy can run, shoot, and pass, Don Nelson will have a look at him. Write down the fact that this kid led the nation in scoring the past two years, and you've got your man for Golden State.
Curry may not be an ideal point guard prospect, but has enough intangibles and ability to try it, while having more than enough scoring prowess to make a career as a shooting guard. His size and strength may limit him defensively, but his range and quickness are hard to plan against.
8. New York Knicks—Chase Budinger, SG/SF, Arizona
This pick could actually be used in obtaining Steve Nash from Phoenix, but it's a bit early to jump to such conclusions. Still, it's unlikely the Knicks make a splash with a point guard here, as they need to solidify their outside game with natural shooters and guys who can run the floor.
Budinger has one of the best shots coming out of college, and showed more toughness and grit in his senior season, suggesting he truly is finally ready to make that next step.
9. Toronto Raptors—DeMar DeRozan, SG, USC
DeRozan isn't a great shooter, but is an absolute wonder as an athlete. He can take over games with his natural athletic ability, and has the talent and drive to become a great defender at the next level.
If the Raptors are committed to winning, they need more players like DeRozan to make the next leap.
10. Milwaukee Bucks—Jonny Flynn, PG, Syracuse
T.J. Ford, anyone? Flynn is a lot like Ford, the guy the Bucks took at the seventh spot more than five years ago, but in so many ways, he is better.
The Bucks have to decide whether or not they want to keep the intriguing Ramon Sessions, while also debating whether or not Luke Ridnour can still start.
Regardless, Flynn is a super-athletic point guard who can rise above the defense, make the necessary pass, and lead the team. He would finally put some certainty at a position where there hasn't been any since the days of Sam Cassell.
Want to see the rest of Round One and Round Two?
Hit up www.robertsroundballreport.com later this week.
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