The NBA Draft is tomorrow and there are still many questions at the top as to what the teams will do. Here is my latest take on what will go down tomorrow night.
1. Los Angeles Clippers—Blake Griffin, PF, Oklahoma
A no brainer for the Clippers. Griffin is the consensus number one player in the draft and even the Clippers can’t screw this up.
2. Memphis Grizzlies—Hasheem Thabeet, C, UCONN
The Grizzlies need some interior defense and Thabeet will bring that. His offensive game is still developing but he can contribute immediately on defense. The Timberwolves are interested in moving up to this pick to take Thabeet too.
3. Oklahoma City Thunder—Ricky Rubio, PG, Spain
The rumor lately has been the Thunder will pick Rubio if available. If they pick Rubio, it will shift Russell Westbrook to the two guard. Rubio is only 18 and has been playing professionally in Spain since he was 14.
4. Sacramento Kings—Jonny Flynn, PG, Syracuse
No one really knows what the Kings will do. If Rubio is available, he will likely be the pick. But if he’s not, it could be a number of guys including Flynn, Evans, Holiday or Curry. Flynn is a leader at the point guard position and has been playing great in workouts recently.
5. Minnesota Timberwolves—James Harden, SG, Arizona State
The Timberwolves gave up Mike Miller and Randy Foye to get this pick and they might use this pick to move up to number two. If they keep it, Harden looks like the guy. They have needs at both guard positions now and Harden is the best shooting guard in the draft.
6. Minnesota Timberwolves—Stephen Curry, PG, Davidson
After taking Harden one pick before the Wolves select his backcourt mate in Curry. Curry is a deadly shooter which will replace the shooting they lost after trading Mike Miller.
7. Golden State Warriors—Jordan Hill, PF, Arizona
The rumor is if Hill is here at seven, the Warriors will take him. They have a greater need at point guard, but Hill is a good fit in the up tempo offense that they run. Look for Brandon Wright to be traded this summer if Hill is the pick.
8. New York Knicks—Tyreke Evans, G, Memphis
The Knicks big board is rumored to be Curry, Hill and Evans. With the first two gone, Evans becomes the pick. Evans can play both the point and shooting guard and would be a nice fit in Mike D’Antoni’s offense.
9. Toronto Raptors—DeMar DeRozan, SG, USC
The Raptors need a wing player with Shawn Marion headed for free agency. DeRozan started off slow, but turned it on late in the season showing why he was a top recruit. DeRozan has the potential to be an All-Star, but was very inconsistent in college.
10. Milwaukee Bucks—Jrue Holiday, PG, UCLA
The Bucks shipped off Richard Jefferson yesterday, but still will likely only be able to retain either Charlie Villanueva or Ramon Sessions. If they go with a point guard look for Holiday to be the pick. He didn’t get much playing time at UCLA, but has risen up the draft boards in the off-season due to his workouts.
11. New Jersey Nets—Terrance Williams, SG, Louisville
Williams will go either here to the Nets or next to Charlotte. After outplaying Gerald Henderson in a workout, it looks like the Nets are targeting Williams as their man.
12. Charlotte Bobcats—Gerald Henderson, SG, Duke
The Bobcats will likely take whoever the Nets pass on at No. 11. Henderson has pegged to the Bobcats for months in mocks and will fill a void at shooting guard for the Bobcats.
13. Indian Pacers—DeJuan Blair, PF, Pittsburgh
Most mocks have the Pacers taking a point guard here and they still might, but Blair would be a good fit. He will bring some toughness and rebounding to a front line that needs some. There are mild concerns about his knees but it shouldn't affect his stock.
14. Phoenix Suns—Brandon Jennings, PG, Italy
Jennings is one of the most talented players in the draft, but falls to Suns at No. 14 because of the great depth at the point guard position. With Nash set to become a free agent next summer, the Suns need a replacement. Jennings can be an elite player in the league, but needs to work on his consistency.
15. Detroit Pistons—B.J. Mullens, C, Ohio State
There are rumors that the Pistons have promised to take Mullens here at No. 15. Mullens is very raw and will need time to develop before he can become a good player in the league.
16. Chicago Bulls—Tyler Hansbrough, PF, UNC
The Bulls are looking to move up a few spots in the draft, but if they stay put Hansbrough could be their man. The Bulls need another big man bad and Hansbrough can bring some toughness to their frontcourt and measured in well at the combine.
17. Philadelphia 76ers—Ty Lawson, PG, UNC
With Andre Mille set to become a free agent the 76ers are looking for a point guard and they’re in luck. Lawson is a bit undersized, but makes up for it will his quickness and speed.
18. Minnesota Timberwolves—Earl Clark, F, Louisville
After addressing the backcourt with its first two picks, the Wolves will look elsewhere with this pick. Clark would give them a versatile forward who can play on the wing or down low in the post.
19. Atlanta Hawks—Jeff Teague, PG, Atlanta
The Hawks have been searching for a point guard for years and they finally might have their guy. Teague is a great scorer at the point guard position, but will need to work on his playmaking ability in the pros.
20. Utah Jazz—Sam Young, SF, Pittsburgh
The Jazz would love to get Hansbrough, but will be more than glad to take Young if he’s available. Young is NBA ready and can step in and play right away at small forward for the Jazz.
21. New Orleans Hornets—Eric Maynor, PG, VCU
The Hornets could look for a wing player but if Maynor is still here it would be hard for them to pass. They are in need of a backup point guard for Chris Paul and Maynor is one of the most NBA ready point guards in the draft.
22. Dallas Mavericks—Austin Daye, F, Gonzaga
The Mavericks could go in a number of directions with this pick. Daye has a lot of potential, but never really played that well for Gonzaga. Daye will need time to develop before he can become an effective player in the NBA.
23. Sacramento Kings—Omri Casspi, SF, Israel
Casspi might stay overseas before coming to the Kings but could be a real asset for the them. He isn’t the most skilled player, but has a lot of toughness, which is rare for a European prospect.
24. Portland Trailblazers—James Johnson, F, Wake Forest
The Trailblazers get very lucky here with Johnson slipping all the way to No. 24. Johnson has been rumored to go as high as No. 11 to the Nets. Johnson is an athletic forward who can play both the three and the four, giving the Trailblazers another weapon.
25. Oklahoma City Thunder—Taj Gibson, PF/C, USC
After taking Rubio earlier in the draft, the Thunder can look to addressing their frontcourt. Gibson won’t be a star in this league, but could be a very solid role player for a team. He has a great motor and can block some shots.
26. Chicago Bulls—Wayne Ellington, SG, UNC
With Ben Gordon likely to leave, the Bulls will look to replace him in the draft. Ellington is a deadly shooter, perhaps the best in the draft, which would help offset Gordon’s loss. The Bulls could also trade this pick to move up or to a team that wants to get back in the first round.
27. Memphis Grizzlies—Darren Collison, PG, UCLA
After taking Thabeet earlier, the Grizzlies can look at taking a point guard. Collison would be an ideal backup point guard to Mike Conely Jr. He is a great defender and a good decision maker.
28. Minnesota Timberwolves—Nick Calathes, G, Florida
There is no way the Wolves keep four first round picks on their roster, so look for this pick to be an international player. Caltahes recently signed to play in Greece and the Wolves can let him play there for a year or two before bringing him over.
29. Los Angeles Lakers—DeJuan Summers, F, Georgetown
The Lakers might lose Lamar Odom or Trevor Ariza this summer, so taking Summers would be a good insurance policy. Summers is a three who can also play some four, if needed. He is a good three-point shooter and his game could flourish out of the Princeton offense.
30. Cleveland Cavaliers—Chase Budinger, SG, Arizona
Everyone knows the Cavs really need a big man, but at this point in the draft, there are none worthy of this pick. Budinger is the best player available at this point in the draft and can help the Cavs right away giving them some scoring punch off the bench.
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