NBA Lottery Mock Draft 3.0

M. S.Correspondent IMay 22, 2009

MEMPHIS, TN - MARCH 29:  Blake Griffin #23 of the Oklahoma Sooners walks off the court after losing to the North Carolina Tar Heels during the NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament South Regional Final at the FedExForum on March 29, 2009 in Memphis, Tennessee. The Tar Heels defeated the Sooners 72-60 to advance to the Final Four.  (Photo by Joe Murphy/Getty Images)
1. Los Angeles Clippers: Blake Griffin, PF, Oklahoma
The Clippers were the fortunate winners of the 25th NBA Draft Lottery and are now coasting through the draft process as they wait to officially draft Griffin. The consensus No. 1 pick, Griffin will step in nicely with a core of young Clippers that could make some noise in a few years.

NBA Comparison: Amare Stoudemire

Other Options: Ricky Rubio

Previous Pick: Jordan Hill at No. 3


2. Memphis Grizzlies: Hasheem Thabeet, C, Connecticut

The Grizzlies have to be pleased as they jumped four spots in the Lottery. I still have a lot of faith in Mike Conley, and I think the Grizzlies do as well. Marc Gasol had problems on defense last year and should form an effective duo with Thabeet, who dominated opposing big men on the defensive end at UConn.

NBA Comparison: Sam Dalembert

Other Options: Ricky Rubio, Jordan Hill

Previous Pick: James Harden at No. 6


3. Oklahoma City Thunder: Ricky Rubio, PG, DKV Joventut

A no-brainer here for the Thunder, who—by drafting Rubio—take the next-best player on the board and address a need. Picking Rubio means Russell Westbrook can be moved to the shooting guard position. The Thunder showed signs of greatness last year and may be just a few years away from turning the corner.

NBA Comparison: Rafer Alston

Other Options: James Harden

Previous Pick: Hasheem Thabeet at No. 4


4. Sacramento Kings: Jrue Holiday, PG, UCLA

As of right now, I am not too high on Holiday, but he has the highest ceiling of any point guard in the draft. He fits the biggest need for the Kings, who lost out on the top spot in the draft after having the worst record in the NBA. Holiday is a boom-or-bust pick with loads of potential and will get the chance to start right away.

NBA Comparison: Rodney Stuckey

Other Options: Jordan Hill, Johnny Flynn

Previous Pick: Blake Griffin at No. 1


5. Washington Wizards: James Harden, SG, Arizona State

No one has helped their draft stock more than Harden, and he will fit in nicely with the Wizards. In my last mock, I had Washington drafting a point guard and shifting Gilbert Arenas to shooting guard. By picking Harden, a healthy Arenas can stay at the point and can distribute the ball to hot-shooting Harden on the wing.

NBA Comparison: Ben Gordon

Other Options: Jordan Hill

Previous Pick: Ricky Rubio at No. 2


6. Minnesota Timberwolves: Brandon Jennings, PG, Italy

The Timberwolves fell back a place in the NBA Lottery. No worries, they get the chance to land their point guard of the future in Jennings. Despite a poor season overseas, Jennings still has all the talent in the world. He will form a great back court with Randy Foye as the Timberwolves continue to rebuild.

NBA Comparison: Allen Iverson

Other Options: Demar DeRozan, Jordan Hill

Previous Pick: Brandon Jennings at No. 5


7. Golden State Warriors: Jordan Hill, PF, Arizona

A pure value pick here for the Warriors, who get a steal with Hill. While rising up many draft boards, Hill's potential is not as high as others drafted before him, which may cause him to slide into the Warriors' hands. Golden State gets a very good defensive player with a developing offensive game. Good for Hill; What better place to go to develop your offense than Golden State?

NBA Comparison: Al Jefferson

Other Options: Tyreke Evans, Johnny Flynn

Previous Pick: Tyreke Evans at No. 7


8. New York Knicks: Stephen Curry, PG, Davidson

Davidson's sharp shooter ends up in New York, the one place where his defensive struggles will not be exposed as much. His offensive game needs no introduction, and in Mike D’Antoni’s system, his numbers could be off the chart on offense.

NBA Comparison: Mike Bibby

Other Options: Tyreke Evans, Gerald Henderson, Johnny Flynn

Previous Pick: Jeff Teague at No. 8


9. Toronto Raptors: Tyreke Evans, PG, Memphis

Tough pick here for the Raptors. I have them going with value. Anthony Parker is likely leaving the Raptors next year via free agency, making Evans a good replacement. He can play both guard positions and has outstanding size. He is also great value pick at No. 9.

NBA Comparison: Dwyane Wade

Other Options: Earl Clark, Demar DeRozan

Previous Pick: Gerald Henderson at No. 9


10. Milwaukee Bucks: Johnny Flynn, PG, Syracuse

I kept this pick the same for the Bucks because I really believe Flynn should be the pick here. The outside shot of nabbing the overall first pick is gone, so the Bucks should look to address the point guard position. With Rubio and Jennings gone, Flynn is the next-best option.

NBA Comparison: Tony Parker

Other Options: Earl Clark, James Johnson

Previous Pick: Johnny Flynn at No. 10


11. New Jersey Nets: Demar DeRozan, SF, USC

Another value pick here as the Nets grab the best all-around athlete in the draft. DeRozan may win many dunk contests in the future, but a championship may be another story. He is very raw and will take a few years to develop, but he could be a defensive star.

NBA Comparison: Josh Howard

Other Options: James Johnson, Earl Clark

Previous Pick: Earl Clark at No. 11


12. Charlotte Bobcats: Gerald Henderson, SG, Duke

Henderson is the best shooting guard left and is the biggest need for the Bobcats. A good draft could push the Bobcats into the playoffs next year, and they hope Henderson is the answer. He came on in the second half of the year and warrants a spot in the top 15.

NBA Comparison: Joe Johnson

Other Options: Wayne Ellington, James Johnson

Previous Pick: Wayne Ellington at No. 12


13. Indiana Pacers: Ty Lawson, PG, North Carolina

The Pacers were hoping for a pure big man, but no one jumps out at me as warranting the pick at the No. 13 spot. Lawson will come in and share time in Indiana, who loves to rotate their point guards. He lacks ideal size but should do a nice job in the NBA with his solid defense and his ability to run the break.

NBA Comparison: Deron Williams

Other Options: James Johnson, DeJuan Blair

Previous Pick: Stephen Curry at No. 13


14. Phoenix Suns: Earl Clark, SF, Louisville

Clark is big enough to play the power forward position, but athletic enough to be a small forward. Sounds a lot like Shawn Marion, doesn’t it? If Clark can improve his jumper quickness, he could be the steal of the draft.

NBA Comparison: Josh Smith

Other Options: James Johnson, Austin Daye

Previous Pick: Ty Lawson at No. 14


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