The NBA draft is all about talent, and making NBA offices and scouts define the gray area between NBA star and team needs with the players available as the clock keeps ticking until they have to declare a new member to their team, as they bid veterans farewell. The players that make it to the top of the NBA team draftboard's are those whose style of play and stats reflected by their skills on the court impress those calling the shots for NBA teams in drafting who could be their next face of their franchise. This creates what some analysts call their draft stock, and some players have high draft stock by scouts because of their size or "intangibles". Unfortunately some NBA mock drafts don't account for and differentiate the players whose perfect size and raw potential is praised by scouts, and the players who have gone out in the Euroleage or NCAA and shown their talent that gets the job done as fans enjoy their high draft stock for how they play regardless of their size, speed, experience etc. In reality NBA Manager's look to see an accelerated talent that performs well regardless of any minor setbacks, and look for the talent that performs best on the court.
1. Chicago Bulls - Michael Beasley Kansas State SF/PF - I would have loved to see Beasley in Miami, but with Gooden's injury history, Noah's probation, and Thomas yet to prove himself top five worthy, I think Beasley has to be considered, especially with his ability to find his way to the bucket with his aggressive style that will easily transition to the more competitive NBA. Though some of Chicago's guards may get lost in Free Agency, most of them are young and talented of which I'm sure regardless of who Chicago picks, they will engage in a very active offseason.
2. Miami Heat - Derrick Rose Memphis PG - With Blount, 6'8'' Haslem and 15 year veteran Mourning holding up the post, there is a clear lack of talent and chemistry. Second year man Chris Quinn has stepped up to the plate behind Jason Williams and put up an AST:TO ratio above 3, shot above 40% Field Goals and Beyond the Arc, and didn't collapse under the pressure of being the starter at the end of the season, he looks promising although far from a star. Derrick Rose is a talent that you simply can't pass up on with what he brings. Although undrafted agent Quinn may get the job done about as well as possible for what he's being paid as an undrafted player. Jason Williams is expected to leave via free agency.
*3. Memphis Grizzlies - Brook Lopez Stanford C - After the loss of Pau Gasol, the depth of guards on their team, and the minimal success of Kwame Brown and Darko Milic, Lopez will provide a good all-around game as a C with the speed that can work on the fast breaks and keep a good C in the game longer as a better conditioned athlete than big men Brown and Milic. At that Lopez's strong defensive game combined with the chemistry of starting big men Warrick and Lopez's speed will look mighty tasty to at team who had the 28th best defense in the NBA.
4. Seattle Supersonics - O.J. Mayo USC PG/SG - Fact at 6'9'' and shooting 43% from the field and less than 30% beyond the arc, Durant has the likes of a tall SF, and Earl Watson at 6'1'' handles the ball really well and shoots decent making him perfect for the starting PG. O.J. Mayo plays like an NBA ready player with his marvelous athleticism that even the Heat are considering to take a jump on at the 2nd pick. Jerryd Bayless seems like a perfect fit here, but where Mayo lacks in assists he makes up for in athleticism for a team that's 28th in 3 point % and Mayo also generated more steals than Bayless for a team thats 23rd in Steals. Mayo's assist/TO ratio is far from good, but Mayo has insisted on playing PG where USC's coaches forced into a position that involved more scoring to make him a SG, either way the sky is the limit for Mayo, where Bayless looks great, just not as athletic or NBA ready as Mayo.
*5. Minnesota Timberwolves - Kevin Love UCLA PF - Kevin Love looks amazing shooting 56% from the field with a range that expands all the way out to the 3 point line and 77% FT shooting. In the NCAA tournament he averaged 4 blocks/game answering to the questions about his ability to play defense. He averages an assist/TO ratio near 1, rare for big men nowadays. He's a little overweight, but he knows how to use his body and he has an unrelenting winning attitude. He's a stretch at #5, but he'll work well with the halfcourt Timberwolve game and provide a scorer on the perimeter and low-post, great complement to Jefferson and has the 3rd best potential in this draft as a freshman with what he proved at UCLA. With how many Guards the Wolves have already, adding another would mean more money and more trouble to finding a solid starting rotation for the Wolves. http://www.draftexpress.com/article/Word-on-the-Street-Love-to-Minnesota--2898/.
*Now that we find how Cupid has found Kevin Love as a perfect fit for Minnesota in this NBA draft, it's difficult to tell whether Minnesota will trade down or not. If they are to trade down, going outside the top five would create a strong risk of Love getting drafted to another team. Whereas Seattle and Memphis would also enjoy a solidified C with Brook Lopez.
Seattle has many needs, we can be certain that only Watson and Durant will be starting and in the best interest of Seattle's short-term future (2-3 years). It's also certain that with C is strongest need for the Grizzlies after losing Gasol, with Milic's injuries, and Brown's lack of productivity, and that youth and depth are already provided at many of their other positions.
This means that Seattle is more able to settle for the best available talent at many positions with their number of needs at different positions, which will make Seattle less inclined to give up it's other first round pick just for a guaranteed starting C, when they're already able to possibly get two birds (starters) with one stone (draft) in their short-term future. So I would project that Memphis will trade picks with Minnesota, so that they can guarantee that Brook Lopez will fall into their laps without risking Seattle taking him, and with that being their clear need they may be more aggressive. At the same time Seattle also has 6 picks in this NBA draft so who knows if they would make a stronger run for Lopez, but it's unlikely that Minnesota will want to load up on more younger players being that they already have too much youth, which may give the upper-hand to Memphis again with more players of interest to Minnesota.
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