NBA Mock Draft
By: Derek Pivko
Who will be #1, Derrick Rose or Michael Beasley? T
his has been the question have since Chicago pulled off a miracle and won the NBA Lottery. Beasley worked out with Chicago on Tuesday and Rose is expected to work out with Chicago in the coming days. Can you smell the roses? Chicago will be drafting Memphis guard Derrick Rose on June 26th live from Madison Square Garden.
On the 26th, we will be watching another strong draft class like last years, if not stronger. The draft is filled with freshmen sensations not even including Rose and Beasley, we also have O.J Mayo, Jerryd Bayless, Kevin Lowe, Russell Westbrook, Eric Gordon and Anthony Randolph. This is not a draft that you want to miss. There are some teams that would be smart to trade down such as the Minnesota Timberwolves who need more help than any team in this draft.
1) Chicago—Derrick Rose, PG.
He is the most talented player in the draft. The addition of Rose would make Chicago a legitimate playoff contender for next season. This also would open the door for talks of trading Ben Gordon. Gordon only started 27 games last year while averaging 18.6 points a game. Meanwhile Rose is a Chicago native would make some noise for the Bulls.
2) Miami—Michael Beasley, PF.
This isn’t a bad pick. In fact in several Mock Drafts they have Beasley projected as the number one pick. Having two sure thing stars coming in this draft isn’t such a bad thing. However, when you are the Heat who quit trying to win midway through the season in order to get Rose they end up getting the second overall pick. Don’t be surprised if the Heat try and make a trade although having Beasley would make a nice combo with Dwayne Wade and Shawn Marion.
3) Minnesota—OJ Mayo, SG
Ever since his sophomore year in high school we have heard about OJ Mayo. He was supposed to be the next LeBron James. However, let’s be honest that might not happen for quite some time. Mayo started the season on a slow draft which hurt his draft stock but managed to turn things around towards the end of the season. Minnesota can do several things with this pick although what the Timberwolves lack is a scorer and that’s what the Timberwolves need somebody who could put the ball in the net. Mayo can be this guy either that or look for Minnesota to be another team interested in trading down since they do a lot of help and with this draft class being very strong the Timberwolves could benefit the most from this draft by trading down.
4) Seattle—Jerryd Bayless, PG.
If Mayo is taken third overall then expect Seattle to grab the Wildcat sensation Jerryd Bayless. Arizona has been known as Point Guard University and with Bayless playing point guard this past year, Bayless looks to continue the tradition at the University of Arizona.
5) Memphis—Russell Westbrook, PG.
With five picks into the draft we have already seen three point guards go in this loaded draft. In comes Russell Westbrook who played for a loaded UCLA team. Expect Westbrook to be the first of several Bruins to be drafted on Draft Night. Imagine a Westbrook and Mike Conley combo in the next few years. That might make up for trading Pau Gasol earlier this season. Too soon?
6) New York—Danillo Gallinari, SF.
The New York Knicks just need a hug. The one present that Knicks fans have received so far was the firing of Isiah Thomas. With Mike D’Antoni now coaching the Knicks, expect the Knicks to take a risk on Italian born Danillo Gallinari. Although the comparison to Toni Kukoc is pretty scary (honestly) the Knicks are in need of a small forward out of any position. Other players that the Knicks might take a look at are: Brook Lopez, Eric Gordon, Anthony Randolph and DJ Augustin.
7) LA Clippers—Eric Gordon, PG.
Shaun Livingston is just not cutting it. Gordon is scoring machine that despite the controversy of former Indiana Head Coach Kelvin Sampson, Gordon was the real headline in Indiana this year. Gordon averaged 20.9 for Indiana this season and Gordon could be a starter for a broken down Clippers team.
8) Milwaukee—Brook Lopez, C.
Is it too early to say that Andrew Bogut is a bust? The former No. 1 pick hasn’t done his fair season of being what a former number one pick should be doing. Lopez is the best center in this draft. Although the centers in the draft is the weakest point in the draft, expect Lopez to battle Bogut for the starting position come training camp.
9) Charlotte—Anthony Randolph, PF.
This can be a very difficult pick for the Bobcats. They need a lot of help and at this stage of the draft, Randolph is the best player available. Earlier reports reported that the Bobcats are also interested in Kevin Love. But if Randolph is still available expect to see Randolph in a Bobcats uniform.
10) New Jersey—Kevin Love, PF.
If Love slips this far in the draft the New Jersey Nets have a reason to celebrate. Love is a very charismatic guy who will put fans in the seats. However, Love is also a very dominate player who for a guy his size can not only defend well but be a great post player. If Love does slips this far, the Nets won’t have to think too hard on making this selection.
11) Indiana—DJ Augustin, PG.
Go ahead name another guard on the Pacers team besides Jamaal Tinsley. Cat got your tongue? It got mine as well. I would compare Augustin to Derek Fisher. He is one of the best conditioned players in the draft who might turn out to be one of the best players to come out of this draft. Augustin would be a starter if the Pacers select him.
12) Sacramento—Joe Alexander, SF.
Alexander had a great run in the NCAA Tournament which helped his stock a lot. Alexander would be coming to a team that is in the process of rebuilding. Brad Miller is not getting younger therefore last year they selected Spencer Hawkes from Washington and also acquired Shelden Williams from the Hawks this past season. Alexander might not be a starter put would be somebody they would depend on coming off the bench.
13) Portland—Brandon Rush, SG.
The Portland Trailblazers are on the verge of becoming a very dominating team in the Western Conference. If Oden can live up to expectations and Brandon Roy can continue to being a leader then there is no reason why the Blazers can’t make the playoffs next year. Rush would bring leadership to the team as well as a three point threat. Rush should be the first of three Kansas to be drafted in the first round.
14) Golden State—Kosta Koufos, C.
A few years ago the Golden State Warriors pulled off one of the greatest upsets in NBA history. This season they finishshed ninth in the Western Conference. If they played in the Eastern Conference they would have been the fourth seed. However, the Warriors need a true center. Heading into last season, Koufos was listed as one of the best centers in the freshmen class. Koufos might have slipped a little bit thanks to Brook Lopez and Kevin Lowe but Koufos held his ground. Look for Golden State to take a good look at Koufos.
15) Phoenix—Donte Green, SF.
If Koufos is still around, the Phoenix Suns would love to select him. However, they are getting their replacement for Shawn Marion. Although Shaq and Steve Nash are not getting any younger, Green is the best guy available in this draft.
16) Philadelphia—DeAndre Jordan, C.
The Sixers need a big man and Jordan is the man for them in he does indeed to fall this far in the draft. Jordan would be contend for a starting spot on this young 76ers team.
17) Toronto—Darrell Arthur, PF.
The Toronto Raptors are not a bad team. In fact, they should be making the playoffs next season. Arthur would make a great replacement for when Chris Bosh gets into foul trouble and could be a center if the Andrea Bargnani experiment doesn’t work out. What is with former No. 1 picks not working out? (See Andrew Bogut and Bargnani for support.)
18) Washington—Mario Chambers, PG.
Gilbert Arenas is not coming back. The Wizards should be looking for his replacement and they might just find their replacement in a speedy Mario Chambers. Chambers will always be remembered for his amazing three point shot which led the Jayhawks into overtime against Memphis in the NCAA Championship. His performance in the championship game help boost his stock and with Arenas gone look for Chambers to move up in the draft.
19) Cleveland–Alexis Ajinca, PF.
There are not a lot of European players going in the first round of the NBA Draft. Ajincawill be the second European to be selected in the draft. Ben Wallace is not the guy that will bring the Cleveland Cavaliers back to the NBA Finals. With his size, Ajinca can be player either the power forward position or the center position.
20) Denver—Marreese Speights, C.
Speights will be used as a backup to Marcus Camby. However, if the Kenyon Martin situation doesn’t improve, expect Speights to switch over to the power forward position where the Nuggets truly need the most help in.
21) New Jersey—Chris Douglas-Roberts SG.
Perhaps the most underrated guy in the draft is Chris Douglas-Roberts. Rogers will be a solid backup for Vince Carter and if needed be a substitute at small forward although his size could be a question mark.
22) Orlando—J.J Hickson, PF.
We are at the point of the draft where you are going to see a lot of power forwards and centers get drafted. There are not a lot of guards that are going to be drafted in the first round minus Courtney Lee. Hickson was one of the first underclassmen to declare for the NBA Draft. Let’s hope that he is ready.
23) Utah—Robin Lopez, C.
The other half of the Lopez twins will not be joining his brother Brook this time. Instead Lopez will be joining a loaded Jazz team that will Lopez to be ready right away. Lopez could receive a lot of minutes and could start some games if he has a good training camp and the always possible injuries that effect every team.
24) Seattle—Roy Hibbert, C.
Many thought at the beginning of the season that Roy Hibbert was the best college basketball player. He decided to stay another year in college and his stock fell. However, there is a plus side to this story, he could be joining his former teammate Jeff Green. Imagine having Bayless, Durant, Green and Hibbert on the floor at the same time? Although Hibbert will receive the fewest minutes of the team, he will be still be an important part to the rebuilding of the Seattle Sonics.
25) Houston—JaVale McGee, C.
When was the last time Yao Ming had a healthy season. Don’t think too long, it hasn’t happened. McGee would be a great backup for a team at one point in the season won 22 straight games.
26) San Antonio—Courtney Lee, SG.
Thanks to the NCAA Tournament, we know who Courtney Lee is as he was part of the Cinderella team that had a great run in the tournament. The Spurs have always selected wisely (minus Marcus Williams) and Lee could turn some heads as he looks to make a name for himself in the NBA.
27) New Orleans- Nicolas Batum, SF.
Batum is the best player remaining and the Hornets should take full advantage of Batum. He has great size for somebody expected to play the small forward position. We don’t know very much about him but that should change very soon.
28) Memphis- Bill Walker, SF.
Walker made a mistake, he should have stayed in school. If he had stayed in school, he could have been a top 15 pick instead he slides all the way down to 28. Walker also had a knee injury which might alter his stock a little bit. This isn’t the greatest replacement for Pau Gasol but hey sorry Memphis fans, Gasol might be the greatest player to ever play for the franchise and all you got exchange was Kwame Brown.
29) Detroit—DJ White, PF.
Perhaps one of the best seniors entering the NBA Draft is DJ White a team mate of freshmen sensation Eric Gordon. White helped Indiana to a winning record while being a great leader. Detroit like San Antonio has a history of drafting excellent basketball players and with the Pistons starting to become an old team it’s team to stock up on young basketball players before Wallace, Billups and McDyess call it a career.
30) Boston- Ante Tomic, C.
Little is known about this 7'2" monster from Croatia. However, what we do know is that the Celtics need another big man since Perkins is bound to get injured several times during the season. Don’t be a surprise to see Tomic is a starting role during the course of next season.