The rumors seem to only get marginally bolder with every passing hour towards the draft, but Pat Riley's wavering thoughts towards trading away the number two overall pick so he can take Mayo with a future payoff feel more real to this writer. The ability of trading the pick to any of the suitors looking for Beasley gives Miami the ability to add components, or at least picks, to stock up on.
With that, feast your eyes upon a new draft order and mock for tonight's draft:
1.) Chicago - G Derrick Rose, University of Memphis
Well, we all know he's their man. Whatever qualities he doesn't possess are the only things that can separate this man from being the perennial All-Star we all expect him to be.
2.) Memphis (from Miami) - F Michael Beasley, Kansas State University
Miami gets its wish for a suitor. Memphis gets Beasley in a three-way deal with Miami and Minnesota.
Memphis gets the number two pick, Miami's 2009 second-round pick.
Miami gets Minnesota's number three pick, G Javaris Crittenton, F Andre Brown, and a future protected first-round pick from Memphis.
Minnesota gets Memphis' number three selection, rights to C Marc Gasol, & G Chris Quinn.
3.) Miami (from Memphis) - G O.J. Mayo, University of Southern California
How does one get cake and eat it, too? Ask Riley, who gets a protected future first-round pick from Mempis while not having to fall way down the draft, or give up something useful as filler. Lord knows Miami will try to force Marcus Banks back into Minnesota's hands, and despite being a moron, McHale will decline the offer, instead taking Quinn as filler, who might remind him of former Gopher teammate, Flip Saunders.
4.) Seattle - C Brook Lopez, Stanford University
It's a true tossup for the Sonics, with Bayless sitting and glaring from his round table in the New York draft day studio, but the need for a capable, mostly healthy center is pressing in the rainy Northwest.
5.) Minnesota - Kevin Love, University of California-Los Angeles
The comparisons are everywhere between GM Kevin McHale and Love, who watched tapes of the former great to improve his game as a youngster. Whether or not he fulfills a career as fruitful as McHale's is doubtful, but he could grow up to be a capable sixth man on a contender.
6.) New York - F Danilo Gallinari, Armani Jeans Milano
Danilo's Italian, Knicks coach Mike D'Antoni is Italian. It's a match made in heaven, one assumes, although probably not as steamy as the McHale-Love Connection (pun intended!).
7.) Los Angeles Clippers - G Eric Gordon, Indiana University
Small, but bound to be a big-time scorer. Just pray he isn't the second coming of DeJuan Wagner.
8.) Milwaukee - F Joe Alexander, West Virginia University
Have need? Here's Joe to fill up the three slot, and he'll do it admirably. This team justs might be putting it all together... albeit slowly.
9.) Charlotte - G Jerryd Bayless, University of Arizona
The fall of the draft is Bayless, as the shakeup at 2, 3, and 5 pushes him down, and not even damaged goods like the Knicks or the Clippers will take him. With Larry Brown not sold on Ray Felton, Jumpman 23 better be leaping for joy with Bayless available here.
10.) New Jersey - G Russell Westbrook, University of California-Los Angeles
Just missing out on Bayless, the Nets still have to be happy to see Westbrook around this late, passing on LSU's Anthony Randolph for the UCLA stud.
The shakeup of this monumental trade will weigh on the legacies of these three franchises. Miami will now have Mayo, Wade, and Marion, a 1-2-3 combo on par with any tandem in the league, barring Wade's shoulder keeps holding up.
Memphis gets the coveted Beasley, although giving up a future number one to do it, but Beasley's more than worth it. Minnesota reaches for Love, but obtain's Marc Gasol's rights.
Of all three involved, I'd gander that Minnesota is best positioned for a collapse, as Love is not as touted as other big men in the draft and I'm not just yet sold on Marc. Miami looks strong coming out of the draft, but I don't expect a playoff run just yet. Depth in the post is something they might be able to add with Memphis' first rounder.
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