NBA Mock Draft, Picks 6-12: Arizona Taking Over NYC

Andrew ButlerCorrespondent IJune 1, 2008

6. New York Knicks - Jerryd Bayless, Arizona PG/SG

I don't know if the draft could work out any better for Mike D'Antoni than having Bayless slip down to number six.  For a Knicks team that was last in the league in assists, and 27th in both three-point and field-goal percentage, adding Bayless would be a huge boost with both Stephon Marbury and Fred Jones on the free agency market this offseason.

Bayless would be a perfect fit with Nate Robinson and Jamal Crawford, and would add some offensive fire and chemistry to a team that can greatly benefit from both. 

A defensively-oriented center may be the Knicks' most pressing need, but it's difficult to pass up on Bayless and take a reach for DeAndre Jordan at the same time.


7. Los Angeles Clippers - Eric Gordon, Indiana SG

The Clippers have big men Chris Kaman, Elton Brand, Corey Maggette, Josh Powell, and Al Thornton. But offensively, they are limited at the guard position outside of Shaun Livingston—when he is healthy.  That limitation showed this year, as the Clips finished 29th in overall offense, three-point percentage, and field-goal percentage. 

Russell Westbrook is a strong consideration here, but he's a great defensive guard and works best at scoring in transition. While the Clippers have a decent defense already, they lack the speed and athleticism to create more points in transition.

Gordon looks like a good fit here, despite  the fact that he's turnover prone, he's good at scoring points—something the Clippers clearly need more than anything else.


8. Milwaukee Bucks - Danilo Gallinari, Italy SF

The Bucks need a lot of things to happen to turn their team around.

Desmond Mason hasn't put up the production the Bucks were hoping he would.  Danilo Gallinari has established himself as the best Euroleague product at the young age of 19.  He looks like one of the most fluid players in this year's draft,  has a very limited downside, and is extremely versatile.  

Gallinari shoots above 40 percent, both overall and behind the three-point arc.  For a team 25th in three-point percentage and 21st in steals, he will be a major improvement for the Bucks. Above all, he's the most talented player available at the position of most need.


9. Charlotte Bobcats - Anthony Randolph, LSU SF/PF

Anthony Randolph has an amazing ability to block shots. He is an excellent rebounder. And he shoots 69 percent from the free throw line, despite clocking in at 6'11''. 

The Bobcats are 26th in rebounds and 29th in free throw shooting.  With starting PF/C Okafor hitting 57 percent of his free throws, and nine-year veteran PF/C Nazr Mohammed hitting 61.7 percent, Randolph would be a good change of pace.

With his great speed, Randolph could lead a transition offense off the bench at PF. Or he could be a breath of fresh air by subbing in for Okafor, Mohammed, and Richardson. 

Either way, he looks to be extrememly talented. There is a chance he could be a bust, but if the worst case scenario is him making it as a bench player or sixth man, he's well worth the risk at No. 9.

10. New Jersey Nets - Darrell Arthur, Kansas PF

It's tempting for the Nets to take C Deandre Jordan with this pick, but Jordan has the best chance at being a bust in the top 15.  He only averaged 7.9 ppg, slowed down at the end of the season, hasn't gotten starting minutes to test his conditioning, is foul and turnover prone, and hits only 43.7 percent of his free throws.

Add in the fact that New Jersey has Nenad Kristic, DeSagana Diop, and Bostjan Nachbar on the free agency market.  Then take into account that the Nets' men in the low post besides Williams are one-dimensional, lacking the versatility of hitting 15-foot jumpers and unconditioned to play in a transition offense. 

These factors have given the Nets the 26th-best field-goal percentage, 25th-best overall offense, 24th-best three-point percentage, and 24th-worst turnovers margin. 

Best for New Jersey to trade this pick down—but if they don't, Darrell Arthur is a good choice. Arthur is nothing spectacular, but he has the size and speed to work with guards in transition or on the perimeter. He shoots field goals at a 54-percent clip and hits 70 percent of his free throws—much better than Diop's 47 percent, Boone's 46 percent, and Williams 60 percent free throw shooting.


11. Indiana Pacers - Russell Westbrook, UCLA PG

Statistically, the Pacers looked good this year—except that they were 27th in turnovers, 26th in defense, and 24th in field-goal percentage.  Indiana had Diener and Rush as the starting guards in place of the oft-injured Jamaal Tinsley—who, as it has been pointed out, is not in the Pacers' "long term future." 

The Pacers lack both depth and talent at the guard position, which has forced 6'9'' Granger to play SG when he's much more suited for SF.  Westbrook shoots well, is excellent at stealing the ball, and loves to score in transition. He brings great defensive fundamentals along with good energy. He would be a perfect fit for the Pacers.


12. Sacramento Kings - D.J. Augustin, Texas PG

The Kings have two immediate needs. First, a PG, as Anthony Johnson will walk into his 12th year in the NBA along with Beno Udrih, who will be a free agent they seek to re-sign. 

Their second-biggest need is to find a good PF. Shareef Abdur-Rahim, Mikki Moore, Brad Miller, and Lorenzen Wright all have at least 10 years in the NBA. Last year, the Kings aquired rookie Spencer Hawes, along with injured and unproductive Shelden Williams.  This is well reflected in their stats—30th in turnovers, 29th in assists, 28th in rebounds, and 26th in blocks. 

Augustin would fill a long-term need at PG, regardless if Udrih is re-signed. The amazing number of assists he dished out as a freshman makes him much more attractive.  With what PFs are left in the draft, the Kings have no choice but to take Augustin at PG—and it certainly isn't a bad choice either.