NBA Draft: Looking at the Big Board
April 27 was the last day for college freshmen, sophomores and juniors to enter their names for June's NBA Draft.
Players who have already signed with agents or will sign with one in the next month-and-a-half cannot return to the college game.
However, most hold off on signing with agents. This gives them until June 16 (10 days before the draft) to withdraw their names from the draft pool.
Since the entry deadline has now passed, I figured I'd go ahead and lay out my big board for the 2008 NBA Draft.
1. Derrick Rose, Memphis Point Guard
Rose led his team to a National Championship appearance as a freshman and will hire an agent. I can't pass on an NBA-ready point guard with so many skills in the No. 1 slot.
2. Michael Beasley, Kansas State Forward
Beasley will hire an agent, foregoing his college eligibility. Rightfully so. Beasley will not fall out of the Top Two in this year's draft, and he should help some lucky team on offensive right away.
3. O.J. Mayo, Southern California Guard
Mayo will never be just a point guard or just a shooting guard at the next level, but he will be an explosive scorer and a nice defender.
4. Brook Lopez, Stanford Center
This Lopez has the better hair and the better game, and will therefore have the better NBA career. With a Top Five draft pick, look for the Memphis Grizzlies to push hard for him.
5. Eric Gordon, Indiana Shooting Guard
Gordon probably has the most range of any guard in this draft. His outstanding athletic ability will make up for his 6-foot-4 height.
6. Danilo Gallinari, Italy Small Forward
Like most international players, Gallinari can run the point guard position at 6-foot-9. He'll have a difficult time guarding other NBA guards, however, due to his slow footwork.
7. Russell Westbrook, UCLA Guard
Westbrook has shown improvement at the point guard position. He will have to continue that progression to be a successful NBA player. Watch for some highlight dunks from Westbrook at the next level, too.
8. JaVale McGee, Nevada Center
Not a lot of people know about McGee, but they will learn about him in the next two months. This athletic center will hire an agent and will be a lottery pick based on his enormous potential.
9. Jerryd Bayless, Arizona Point Guard
Developing the necessary point guard skills is what Bayless needs to improve the most. He plays with a very high level of intensity, so that could make up for his small size. He could still be a Top Five pick.
10. DeAndre Jordan, Texas A&M Center
This is yet another pick based on potential, as Jordan only played 20 minutes per game as a freshman. He put up nice numbers as a freshman in his limited time, so keeping him on the floor should lead to big numbers.
11. Anthony Randolph, LSU Small Forward
Definitely a "boom or bust" pick for whichever team selects him. He has the height to be a power forward, but his frame doesn't seem to hold a lot of weight. Currently, he's a small forward type player, but his outside shooting is very questionable.
12. Darrell Arthur, Kansas Power Forward
His size, athleticism and ability to extend his range project him well into the NBA. Scoring 20 points and grabbing 10 rebounds in the National Championship game against Memphis certainly increases his stock.
13. Kevin Love, UCLA Power Forward
Love's post skills, size and passing ability will make him an exceptional NBA player for years. He's a high-character guy, and the team that drafts him will be getting a winner.
14. Nicolas Batum, France Guard/Forward
Batum has a great all-around game and plays smoothly. After watching various clips of him, my only real question is how he'll translate to the life of the NBA.
15. Kosta Koufos, Ohio State Center
16. Donte Greene, Syracuse Small Forward
17. Jason Thompson, Rider Power Forward
18. Brandon Rush, Kansas Shooting Guard
19. Chase Budinger, Arizona Shooting Guard
20. Robin Lopez, Stanford Center
21. Kyle Weaver, Washington State Guard
22. Mario Chalmers, Kansas Point Guard
23. D.J. White, Indiana Power Forward
24. D.J. Augustin, Texas Point Guard
25. Roy Hibbert, Georgetown Center
26. Lester Hudson, Tennessee-Martin Point Guard
27. Wayne Ellington, North Carolina Shooting Guard
28. Ryan Anderson, California Forward
29. Joe Alexander, West Virginia Small Forward
30. Chris Douglas-Roberts, Memphis Shooting Guard
NEXT IN LINE
Joey Dorsey (Memphis), Shan Foster (Vanderbilt), Richard Hendrix (Alabama), J.J. Hickson (North Carolina State), Davon Jefferson (Southern California), Ty Lawson (North Carolina), Courtney Lee (Western Kentucky), Richard Roby (Colorado), Marreese Speights (Florida), Ante Tomic (Croatia).
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