With the draft in about a day, this is my final mock draft.
1. Los Angeles Clippers—Blake Griffin
Who else the consensus number 1 overall pick, Griffin is extremely athletic has a great work ethic, extremely creative at getting to the rim, however lacks a jump shot, expect that to develop over the years. Expect the Clippers to try to get rid of Zach Randolph and his contract.
2. Memphis Grizzlies—Hasheem Thabeet
Obviously we have all heard the Mutumbo comparisons, as much as they like Hasheem Thabeet, I think that the Grizzlies want to trade the pick. Thabeet can come into the NBA and be a defensive presence immediately. He is 7' and he changes the game defensively, however offensively he still has ways to go and lacks a go to post move.
He's very raw but the Grizzlies need height and Thabeet will be the pick at two, although they give Rubio a long hard look, and give Mike Conley a last chance, which is a reason why I think they eventually trade the pick.
3. Oklahoma City Thunder—Ricky Rubio
Many people are saying Harden is the pick, but Thunder GM Sam Presti knows how good Rubio is. Westbrook is not a true point guard, and playing alongside Rubio makes Westbrook, Durant, and Jeff Green much better.
He will instantly fit in the Thunder young core, and with the addition of Rubio, everybody is better.
4. Sacramento Kings-Tyreke Evans
The most overrated player in this draft, Tyreke Evans is not a prospect that I really like due to his lack of athleticism, and slow lateral movement, which leads me to think that he will play very little time at point guard in the NBA. However Evans can beat you off the dribble, and he had a great workout for the Kings.
5. Minnesota Timberwolves—Stephen Curry
With the deal with Washington, the Timberwolves obtain the pick and take one of my favorite players in this draft, Stephen Curry.
Curry will be perfect to go along with an all star front court in Al Jefferson and Kevin Love. Curry is the best in the draft in terms of basketball IQ, creating his own shot, and shooting the ball from anywhere on the court.
Curry reminds me a lot of Steve Nash, who wasn’t the Nash of today when coming out. The stereotype with Curry is that he is weak and wasn’t athletic. Actually, he has great size to play the point guard at 6'3", and he benched more than Terrence Williams at the draft combine in Chicago.
6. Minnesota Timberwolves—James Harden
The Timberwolves rebuild their back court with Curry and Harden. Harden is a great scorer, and to go along with college basketball’s most prolific scorer, Curry. Harden at the two, Curry at the one to go along with Jefferson and Love.
Expect the Timberwolves to vastly improve if they get the most out of these prospects, although I expect the Timberwolves to package one of these picks and one of the later first round picks to trade up to the second pick.
7. Golden State Warriors—Jonny Flynn
I originally had Flynn going to the Kings, but he isn’t better than Rubio. I know the Warriors made a promise to Monta Ellis, but the reality is Ellis isn’t running the Warriors' draft room.
8. New York Knicks—Jrue Holiday
The Knicks come out huge losers in this draft—they take the wildcard Jrue Holiday as Curry does not fall to eight.
But Holiday is a great defensive point guard, with a ton of upside. He has a nice mid-range game, although he needs to add range on his jump shot.
Expect Knicks fans to be disappointed at the Garden.
9. Toronto Raptors—DeMar DeRozan
Remember, DeMar DeRozan is just a lot of tempting upside and is a few years from becoming a regular contributor. But the Raptors have some options since Chris Bosh’s name will be involved in trade rumors.
DeRozan is extremely athletic; according to scouts he has drawn Kobe Bryant comparisons, and Toronto will be getting a player with a ton of potential. This pick is all but official, DeRozan has been very selective of teams he works out for and he is at the top of Toronto’s board.
10. Milwaukee Bucks—Jordan Hill
It looks like Charlie Villanueva will leave soon and Milwaukee will get Jordan Hill—and he is a steal. I actually like Hill more than Thabeet.
Hill proved that he can score his last year at Arizona. Hill is a mammoth of a man and looks like he can be a dominant force in the paint years from now. He's the best post player in a draft lacking big men.
11. New Jersey Nets—Earl Clark
The Nets get a great power forward who can shoot the ball, which means he can stretch the defense. Clark has improved his jumper and can play the post.
12. Charlotte Bobcats—Terrence Williams
According to many sources, Terrence Williams and Gerald Henderson worked out, and Williams got a guarantee that he is at the top of Larry Brown’s board.
Williams is in the Andre Iguodala, Scottie Pippen mold. He isn’t a great shooter or scorer, but he can improve that, the way Iguodala did. What he is, is a great perimeter defender and very athletic player.
13. Indiana Pacers—Brandon Jennings
The other wild card of this draft, Brandon Jennings is lightning quick with the ball and is a great scorer. However, teams worry whether he is a good passer and question his commitment to defense.
I still think Jennings is the second-best point guard in this draft, and if he falls to 13, although it’s a high-risk high-reward pick, it’s a steal.
14. Phoenix Suns—James Johnson
Johnson is extremely athletic; he was among the most athletic player in the ACC. He is a hybrid who can play the three and the four and has great size to go along with a nice mid-range jumper.
15. Detroit Pistons—BJ Mullens
Mullens is a talented seven-footer with great upside. However, people question his work ethic. Detroit supposedly made him a guarantee that he would not slip past 15.
As talented as Mullens is, big men take time to develop and Mullens is still at least 2 years away from being a solid player in the pros.
16. Chicago Bulls—DeJuan Blair
Blair may be a little undersized, but he is a fearless rebounder who was among the league leaders in boards last year. Blair is about 277 pounds and manhandled Hasheem Thabeet, which means he isn’t scared to play bigger guys—something he will have to do at the next level.
17. Philadelphia 76ers—Jeff Teague
Jeff Teague is another steal at 17. Teague has the quickest first step of any point guard in this draft. He is a score-first point guard, but he is very fast and would fit in great in the Princeton offense.
18. Minnesota Timberwolves—Gerald Henderson
I expect this pick to be traded if the Timberwolves are going to trade up into the second pick. But Henderson established himself among the top athletes in the ACC. He is the true definition of a streaky shooter, his hot is hot and his cold is very cold.
19. Atlanta Hawks—Eric Maynor
Acie Law hasn’t proven himself and the Hawks regret passing up on Rodney Stuckey. Eric Maynor is one of the most NBA-ready players in this draft, the top senior, and the biggest sleeper.
Maynor has to improve the range on his shot, but he can get in the lane and he has a great floater.
20. Utah Jazz—Tyler Hansbrough
It looks like Carlos Boozer will depart via free agency, which means Utah will take Tyler Hansbrough. Hansbrough brings a blue collar mentality to the Jazz that will fit in great.
Hansbrough improved a lot of aspects to his game, like his post play and his jumper, and would be a steal at 20 for Utah.
21. New Orleans Hornets—Chase Budinger
Budinger is a player who has great potential but never lived up to the hype, and that’s why he falls to 21.
22. Dallas Mavericks—Ty Lawson
Ty Lawson was the most productive point guard last season. So why, you ask, is he in the end of the first round? Well, Lawson is less than six feet tall, and his defense against bigger point guards is questionable.
However, Lawson is lightning quick with the ball, although lacks lateral quickness. Mark Cuban is still probably kicking himself for letting Devin Harris go. Expect Jason Kidd to be re-signed, and Lawson will be a nice backup.
23. Sacramento Kings—Sam Young
Young will never be the top scoring option on his team; he is 24 years old, which scares a lot of teams away from him. However, we saw what he could do at Pitt. He is extremely creative when getting to the basket and has a great outside shot.
24. Portland Trail Blazers—Darren Collison
Collison shared the back court last season with Jrue Holiday. Portland takes Collison to be a nice backup for Steve Blake.
25. Oklahoma City Thunder—Austin Daye
Austin Daye is about 6'10" and can play the three and the four, but he is only 192 pounds. Daye has a lot of upside, but he didn’t really score much at Gonzaga.
26. Chicago Bulls—DeJuan Summers
27. Memphis Grizzlies—Patrick Mills
28. Minnesota Timberwolves—Omri Casspi
Casspi was not great at the workouts, if drafted in the first round he would be the first Israeli ever taken in the first round.
29. Los Angeles Lakers—Toney Douglas
It looks like Derek Fisher will retire, which means Phil Jackson needs a new point guard. Douglas is a shooting guard who can score, but at 6'2", there's no room for him to play the two.
30. Cleveland Cavaliers—Derrick Brown
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