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Tag:Mock Draft
Posted on: June 24, 2009 1:35 pm
Edited on: June 25, 2009 12:45 am
 

Mock Draft 3.0: Wolves get their guards on

NBA Draft analyst Brian Levenson's final mock draft.

1. LA Clippers—PF Blake Griffin, Oklahoma University

I wish the rest of the draft was this easy to predict. From day one, Griffin has been the clear-cut favorite to be the top pick in this year's draft. While Griffin isn't as complete as many previous first-round picks have been, his combination of size and athleticism make him a very good pick for the Clippers. Clips fans have a lot to look forward to in a nice young core of Griffin, Al Thornton and Eric Gordon to go along with productive (while fragile) vets in Zach Randolph, Chris Kaman and Baron Davis. Full Profile

2. Memphis Grizzlies—PG Ricky Rubio, Spain

I know reports are leaning toward Hasheem Thabeet, but I still say Memphis can't pass on the Spanish product. Ideally it may want to move back to five or six and grab Jordan Hill, who would be a good fit next to Marc Gasol, O.J. Mayo and Rudy Gay.

If they do stay here I still say they take Rubio with the hopes either he or Mike Conley will become the distributor Mayo and Gay so desperately need. I think Gasol is a solid big and I think there is much more upside in Rubio's game than Thabeet's. With that in mind I think the Griz should roll the dice and take Rubio. Full Profile

3. Oklahoma City Thunder—C Hasheem Thabeet, Connecticut

Thabeet instantly provides security for an undersized Jeff Green at the 4 and any defensive liabilities that they have in the front court.  It's very rare to have a stopper at the top of the key, and they have that in Russell Westbrook. Add that to a shot blocker in the paint like Thabeet and OKC will be A-OK defensively. The Thunder could look at James Harden here as he would give them another do-it-all scorer, but the move should be to protect the hoop and take the 7-footer.

While Harden would fit nicely here, it is much easier to find a shooting guard than it is to find a 7-footer who will help the entire team defensively. With this pick the Thunder become a very dangerous, up-and-coming team. Add a solid shooting guard and you have one of the most balanced, young starting fives in the league. Full Profile

4. Sacramento Kings—PG Jonny Flynn, Syracuse

I previously had Jennings here as I believed the Kings had to gamble and roll the dice. But, I decided to do a 180 and go with the guy I think is as ready as anybody to compete next year. I have Flynn ranked as a higher prospect than most, but in previous mock drafts I had him slipping to the teens. If he doesn't go to Sacramento I think he won't crack the top 10, so if I was Sacramento I would try to move back in the draft.

Flynn proved time and again he has the goods to compete at the next level. It sounds like GM Geoff Petrie has to make this pick count and I think Flynn will look good in his rookie year while players like Stephen Curry and Brandon Jennings may struggle adjusting. Full Profile

5. Minnesota Timberwolves (acquired from Washington)—SG James Harden, Arizona State

I still think the Wolves are going to move up to nab Rubio. But if they don’t they are going to have to take Harden here. They now have a gaping hole at shooting guard and Harden is the best one in the draft. He will instantly make Kevin Love and Al Jefferson better down low and will give them a legit perimeter threat. They could look to Curry or even Jordan Hill here, but I don’t see how Jordan Hill fits and they have their next pick to address their point guard needs. Full Profile

6. Minnesota Timberwolves—PG/SG Tyreke Evans, Memphis

A lot of people believe the Wolves would/should look to Curry here, but I think Evans has to be the play. As I noted earlier I would love to see them move up to snatch Rubio, but if they are unable to do so Evans is certainly a nice consolation prize. I know Wolves fans are really interested in getting a true point guard, but Evans is the best player available here and combined with Harden shouldn’t struggle with getting the ball into their teammates hands.

I have had him penciled in at the No. 6 spot since Mock Draft 1.0 and I have no reason to believe he won’t still be heading to the Wolves. While he may not be the true point guard many Wolves fans covet, he instantly gives them another playmaker to go along with the scoring and ability of Haden. Once again the best thing is for them to move up, but if they stay here then take the two best players on the board. Full Profile

7. Golden State Warriors—PF Jordan Hill, Arizona

While the Warriors have Brandan Wright and Anthony Randolph as young and raw "power forwards" they still need to find someone who can help get easy points in the paint next to Andris Biedrins. I know some would like them to look Holiday, Jennings, Curry or Flynn's way, but I just don't see them passing on Hill if he is available.

I know that Monta Ellis isn't a typical point guard, but the bottom line is he can give you minutes there and the Warriors have such a glut of guards that they can get by with what they have. But do you really want to hand the keys over at power forward to Randolph and Wright? Some will probably say yes, but I think Hill would automatically be an upgrade over both players. He is much different than Randolph as he is truly a power forward who doesn't handle the ball on the perimeter. He also would get them some easy buckets inside based on his size and athleticism. While I am not extremely high on Hill, I do think he would be a valuable piece to an up-tempo team like Golden State, one that needs to find some interior or mid-range scoring. Hill has to be the guy at No. 7. Full Profile

8. New York Knicks—PG Stephen Curry, Davidson

The love affair with Curry and New York finally concludes and Knick fans can hope that Curry texts LeBron James daily about how amazing "the city" is. With all of the LeBron stuff aside, Curry couldn't ask for a better coach to play for than Mike D'Antoni. A player like Curry needs confidence and D'Antoni will give him the green light to find his shooter's stroke. The Knicks could look to Jennings or Holiday as well, but I think Curry is their guy and if he is available they will snatch him up. Full Profile

9. Toronto Raptors—SG/SF Demar DeRozan, USC

This seems like the biggest lock after the Blake Griffin pick. Most of the teams before Toronto have plenty of wing players and that is clearly the Raptors' biggest need. While DeRozan remains raw, he has the athleticism and the skill set teams look for in a perimeter player. The Raptors have been lacking athleticism since Vince Carter left and DeRozan would benefit playing next to the crafty Jose Calderon. The only way I see Toronto going away from DeRozan is if they like Gerald Henderson more or if they believe that Chris Bosh is already gone. But even if that is the case I still believe all signs point to DeRozan. Full Profile

10. Milwaukee Bucks—PG Jrue Holiday, UCLA

With Ramon Sessions likely leaving for free agency, the Bucks look for their point guard of the future in Jrue Holiday. There have been talks they like Jeff Teague, but I think Holiday fits coach Scott Skiles' defensive mentality. While I would look at Jennings here, I don't think he fits what Skiles looks for in a point guard. I also think that DeJuan Blair would give them much more toughness next to Andrew Bogut, but I understand their reasoning for trying to solidify the lead guard position.

Holiday has a lot of upside and has a team-first mentality that goes with what Skiles is trying to build. He looks like the right fit for them at No. 10. Full Profile

11. New Jersey Nets—PF DeJuan Blair, Pittsburgh

Brook Lopez proved to be a tremendous pick for the Nets last year. Blair would sure up their frontcourt and does a lot of the stuff Lopez doesn't. With Blair, Lopez, Ryan Anderson and Yi Jianlian all bringing something different to the table the Nets would be in position to have a very good four-man rotation of bigs for many years to come. Add a wing or two in free agency next year and the Nets would have a very solid core.

Blair gives them some "meat" and muscle that would compliment Lopez up front. Teams would really be in for a long night when having to go against the length of Lopez and the girth of Blair. Full Profile

12. Charlotte Bobcats—SG Gerald Henderson, Duke    

Toronto and Charlotte are the two teams locked in for a wing player. If for some reason Henderson goes to Toronto, then expect  DeRozan here and vice versa. Henderson would look very good in the backcourt with D.J. Augustin. The Bobcats could be an interesting team next year with the two youngsters in the backcourt, interchangeable forwards Gerald Wallace and Boris Diaw in the frontcourt combined with anchor Emeka Okafor holding down the paint.

Henderson fits what the team is looking for and would be a nice addition to their core. Full Profile

13. Indiana Pacers—PG Brandon Jennings, Lottomatica Roma

Teams will be hesitant to roll the dice on Jennings and ultimately he drops here. The Pacers can basically go anywhere with this pick and they will go the high-risk, high-reward pick of Jennings. The Pacers have a lot of long-term contracts locked into their core of Troy Murphy, Mike Dunleavy and Danny Granger whether they like it or not. With Brandon Rush and Roy Hibbert each showing flashes, I think they need to look for a young playmaker if they really want to turn everything around.

While T.J. Ford is still a solid point guard, Jennings' potential is extremely high. A 1-2 punch of Jennings and Ford from the point really could help the Pacers get the most out of their shooters. Go ahead, Mr. Bird and take the guy with the most potential on the board. Full Profile

14. Phoenix Suns—SF Earl Clark, Louisville

Phoenix could look for a point guard here, but I think it will go for a wing. Clark has tremendous upside and the ability to play both forward positions should they trade or lose Amar'e Stoudemire next year. His shooting ability makes him an interesting player alongside Steve Nash. The Suns also may have to completely rebuild in 2010 with Amare, Shaq and Nash all possibly leaving via free agency.

They could look at James Johnson or Ty Lawson as Nash's replacement here, but I think Clark fits their system and would be a good guy to contribute next year and be a focal point in future years. Full Profile

15. Detroit Pistons—PF Tyler Hansbrough, UNC

I had them previously taking Gani Lawal, who has since pulled out of the draft. With Hansbrough's good Combine in Chicago and with his workman-like mentality I have him jumping all the way into the teens and landing with the Pistons. The Pistons core is Tayshaun Prince, Ric hard Hamilton and Rodney Stuckey and those three guys really need a big who can do the dirty work down low.

While Hansbrough may not have the biggest upside, he will fit nicely with the three guys mentioned above and will fit well with the Pistons' hard-at-work culture. They could go for B.J. Mullens here, but I just don't see Joe D. going after another Darko-esque big. Hansbrough's ready to go and would give the Pistons a solid big. Full Profile

16. Chicago Bulls-- SF James Johnson, Wake Forest

Johnson would give them a solid backup forward for Luol Deng and Tyrus Thomas. He is kind of a mix of the two as he possesses Thomas' athleticism, but also has some of Deng's perimeter skills. If one of them goes down or is ineffective, then Johnson could come in and contribute. Johnson has great ability and would be a nice addition since he would add much-needed depth to a maturing team. Full Profile

17. Philadelphia 76ers—PG Ty Lawson, UNC

He is terrific in transition, which is important for Andre Igoudala, Marreese Speights, Thaddeus Young and Sam Dalembert. His ability to knock down spot-up threes is helpful as they desperately struggled when Igoudala was doubled last year.

The question will be how he plays with a guy like Elton Brand, who is a halfcourt guy. They could elect to go with a player like Teague, who has the ability to create in the halfcourt. He's a good fit for the 76ers and is mature enough that he could be given a shot to replace Andre Miller from the get go. Full Profile

18. Minnesota Timberwolves—SF Terrence Williams, Louisville

If T-Will is still there at 18 I would be shocked to see the T-Wolves pass up on him. They have some tremendous athletes on the wing that haven’t quite worked out for various reasons (Carney and Brewer). Williams would provide a tougher player on the perimeter and will give them another ball handler that they can use at point forward when needed.

If the Wolves can get Evans, Harden and Williams then they would have added to legit sized NBA players who can do a little bit of everything on the floor. A starting lineup of those three rookies with Love and Jefferson is really interesting and obviously really young. All three of those guys could give you minutes at the point and all three could help Jefferson and Love out on the boards. I also think that the Wolves would be able to play an aggressive, switching defense where they don’t worry about fighting thru screens and use their backcourt size to their advantage. Both Wiliams and Harden are used to playing this style of defense from college. They also would’ve added a toughness to their team that isn’t there now. Full Profile

19. Atlanta Hawks—PG Jeff Teague, Wake

I still say that the Hawks should go for a point guard here. One could argue they should take the best player available, but I really think it's important they continue to try to find their lead guard. I think it's a toss-up between Eric Maynor and Teague and this time I am going to have them going with Teague. Maynor does remind me a little of Acie Law, who they already have in the point guard stable. With that in mind, I think Maynor might be a good fit to go head-to-head with Law for the point guard of the future.

Teague has an awful lot to like about his game, but his leadership skills are certainly shaky. The Hawks could look to take and NBA-ready player like Sam Young, who would be another athlete and add depth to their forward crop. Full Profile

20. Utah Jazz—C B.J. Mullens, Ohio State

Mullens stays here due to the Jazz's need for depth in the front court. With Carlos Boozer or Paul Millsap leaving they will need another big and Mullens certainly has the size to play in the NBA. I am not a big fan of Mullens, but I understand why teams are intrigued. He is really the only guy after Thabeet who might be able to become an NBA center and teams fall in love with 7-footers. Full Profile

21. New Orleans Hornets—PG Eric Maynor, VCU

Since Jannero Pargo left last year the team has desperately needed someone who could backup Chris Paul. Maynor's clutch performances in tournaments should equip him to deal with the pressure that comes with backing up the best point guard in the NBA. Maynor's size could also allow them to play some small ball and shift him to the 2 where he can get some time playing alongside CP3. Full Profile

22. Portland Trailblazers (acquired from Dallas)-SF Austin Daye, Gonzaga

I had them taking Taj Gibson at 24, but I don't think they would have moved up 2 spots for the power forward.  I know that they already have Batum and Outlaw, but I am guessing that the Trailblazers are going to try to move one of those guys with one of their young point guards for a more legit starting point guard.  Daye is in their back yard so my logic is that they saw something that they liked and think he will fit nicely with their other young players.  I can't justify putting Gibson here because I just don't see the need to leap frog the Kings to get him.  Full Profile

23. Sacramento Kings—SF Sam Young, Pittsburgh

The Kings' wings are really lacking strength. Guys like Martin, Garcia and even Dontae Green are all long, but none of them possess the slashing or rebounding that Young could give them on the wing. He would instantly improve their athleticism and would give them an NBA-ready player who can play multiple positions.  Full Profile

24. Dallas Mavericks (acquired from Portland)—SG Marcus Thornton, LSU

Thornton would provide toughness to a team that always seems to lack toughness in the playoffs. They also have need at shooting  guard with Jerry Stackhouse's decline in full effect. Thornton would fit nicely with whomever they decide to go with at point guard and would be a solid spark off the bench if they want to start Antoine Wright in the beginning. I think that Thornton may be their guy and they know hte Kings won't take him at 23.  Full Profile

25. Oklahoma City Thunder —PG Darren Collison, UCLA

Collison finds himself back with his buddy Westbrook in Oklahoma City. This could obviously change if they end up getting Rubio, but I think they could use a steady backup hand to go with the explosive, but turnover prone Westbrook. Collison is the ball-control point guard who can settle a team down and take high-percentage shots. He would be a nice player to have next to the gunners of Westbrook, Kevin Durant and Jeff Green. Full Profile

26. Chicago Bulls—SG Wayne Ellington, UNC

Ellington gives them another shooter to bring off the bench and provides them some insurance in case Ben Gordon leaves. With the way Derrick Rose plays it would be wise for them to surround him with good shooters. Ellington would fit nicely backing up John Salmons and would fit well with Kirk Hinrich or Rose in the backcourt when he enters the game. Full Profile

27. Memphis Grizzlies—SF Omri Casspi, Israel

Casspi is a very tough combo forward who is basically the anti-Rudy Gay. I also think Memphis will look to cut costs and they could decide to leave Casspi overseas. I think they should look to Jeff Pendergraph here, but I could see Memphis either dealing this pick for money or taking a Euro. Full Profile

28. Minnesota Timberwolves—PG Patrick Mills, St. Mary's

The Wolves complete their 1st round with an actual true point guard.  While Williams, Evans and even Harden can all can play the point, there are no questions as to what position Mills plays.  He would give them quickness and an ability to push the ball to get their scorers the ball.  While Mills doesn’t bring the flexibility that the previous picks bring, he would give them a steady hand in the backcourt that might be able to capitalize on the talents of those aforementioned players.  I think he’s a good fit in Minnesota.  Full Profile

29. LA Lakers— SF Derrick Brown, Xavier
 
The Lakers have a lot of players coming back but they do have uncertainty at small forward. Brown would serve as insurance if Trevor Ariza or Lamar Odom bolt. He actually is a similar player to Ariza as he can knock down the three, has a freakish wing span and is a tremendous athlete. Brown is still erratic, but the Lakers can and should take a shot at him as he has a lot of upside. Full Profile

30. Cleveland Cavaliers—PF Jeff Pendergraph, Arizona State

The more tape I watched of Pendergraph the more I thought about how great of a fit he would be for the Cavs. When he was playing with Harden (who is a very good passer), he just understood how to slide up or down to the basket to make himself available. I kept thinking about LeBron and how many easy buckets he would get Pendergraph. He also has legit size to help a team in desperate need of strength and athleticism down low. The guy has the ability to hit the open jumper, which is also important when playing with LeBron and he doesn't mind going down low and doing the dirty work. I can't think of too many players in this draft who would be a better fit for what the Cavs' need than Pendergraph. Full Profile


Other potential 1st round picks to keep an eye on:

1.  SF Dajuan Summers, Georgetown

Look for a team to fall in love with his combination of size, shooting touch and athleticism.  I wouldn't be surprised if he found a home somewhere in the 20's.  I have no doubt that he probably wowed some teams in private work outs, but the body of work in college and the in game film that I have watched just don't do much for me.  Full Profile 

2.  PF Taj Gibson, USC

I think a team will fall in love with Gibson's freakishly long wing span and his ability to block shots.  Also, I would think a playoff team would actually be intrigued by his age and his ability to come in and compete right away.  I had him in the 1st round in previous mock drafts but I just couldn't find him a home in this one.  A trade or two could certainly change that.  Full Profile 

3.  PG Sergio Llull, Real Madrid (Spain)

The speedy point guard has the size and ability to play the point in the NBA.  A team may take him in the hopes that he can really grow into a player overseas.  Real Madrid is a team littered with former draft picks and former NBA players so he will be getting some very good experience should he decide to stay overseas.  Full Profile

4.  SF Chase Budinger, Arizona

Nobody can argue that the guy has serious skills, but his passiveness has taken a toll on his draft stock.  But, once again his leaping ability, size and shooting touch make him an intriguing prospect with legit 1st round talent.  Will the talent translate into a solid role player?  I am not so sure about that.  Full Profile

5.  PG Toney Douglas, Florida State

The combo guard has unbelievable scoring ability.  I think it will be tough for him to crack the 1st round due to the point guard depth in this draft, but he certainly is a talented guard that deserves a look.  Full Profile

6.  PG/SG Nick Calathes, Florida

Calathes is an interesting guard because he provides flexibility in the backcourt due to his size.  He also is intriguing because it sounds like he is willing to go overseas to work on his game.  Those two points combined with the skills that he showed in Florida could land him a spot in the 20's.    Full Profile

7.  SG Dionte Christmas, Temple

I love his ability to fill it up, but I am not sure if teams believe that he will be effective with less touches.  There's no doubting Christmas' ability to get his shot off which should get him some looks in the 1st round.  Full Profile

8.  SG Jermaine Taylor, University Central Florida

Taylor averaged 26 PPG last year as one of the top scorers in all of college basketball.  He has solid size and athleticism that should help him be an effective shooting guard in the NBA.  Taylor's scoring skills and good showing at the Portsmouth Invitational might have bumped him into the 1st round.  Full Profile

9. PF DeMarre Carroll, Missouri

The junk yard dog of the draft class has the work ethic and energy that playoff teams look for in a late 1st round product.  While Carroll has work to do and is a bit of a tweener, you know that you are going to get someone who is going to bring it in practice and in the game.  Full Profile

10.  PG Rodrigue Beaubois, Cholet (France)

A good sized point guard with a freakish 6-10 wing span and solid play making ability might catch the eyes of some team late in the 1st round.  Like many of the Euro's, he is attractive because teams looking to save cash and roster spots can leave him overseas where he can work on his weaknesses.  Full Profile

Category: NBA
Posted on: June 12, 2009 12:30 pm
 

Mock Draft 2.0

1.    Clippers—PF Blake Griffin, Oklahoma

Analysis: Not much has changed here. Despite the fact that Griffin's measurements didn't blow anyone away in Chicago, he still remains the best player in this year's draft. Look for the Clips to try to move one of their overpriced and injury prone big men before the draft and build around a nice, young and athletic core of Griffin, Thornton and Gordon.

2.    Memphis—PG Ricky Rubio, Spain

Analysis: This will get very interesting in the next 2 weeks. Reports out of Spain are that a major buyout could require some issues for whoever drafts Rubio. Combine that with some reports saying that he has no interest in playing in Memphis and this could be a recipe for disaster. The Griz could and should look to move back in the draft and get a guy that fits their team needs -- more like a Jordan Hill. Look for teams like the Wizards, Kings and even possibly the Knicks to try to move up so that they can get their hands on Rubio or Hasheen Thabeet. The Kings would make the most sense as Rubio would be a perfect fit and Memphis would most likely be able to get Hill for less money at four.The only problem is what could the Kings offer?

3.   Oklahoma City—C Hasheem Thabeet, Connecticut

Analysis: With Durant, Green and Westbrook all coming along nicely it is pretty evident that they need a center and a shooting guard. Well, the two best players in the draft here would both fit nicely in Oklahoma City. James Harden would give them a heady shooting guard who would be able to fit in with the three players mentioned above. With that said, I think they have to go Thabeet here.

He would instantly make up for the defensive deficiencies of Green and Durant and would give them a stopper in the paint to go along with Westbrook's D on the perimeter. You can always get a shooting guard in the future, but centers just don't come along very often. The pick here has to be Thabeet.

4.    Sacramento—PG Brandon Jennings

Once again, this is the toughest selection to figure out. The best fit would be Rubio, but I really don't think he will be on the board at four. The Kings can't take Harden, who is the best player available because of Kevin Martin and Francisco Garcia. Like Martin, Harden doesn't possess the size or skill-set to move over to the 3.

The Kings have to swing for the fences here and really need a point guard to try to right the ship. The two guys who I think fit that category would be Jrue Holiday and Jennings. While there are certainly more proven, NBA-ready players in this year's draft (Ty Lawson and Jonny Flynn) few guys hold the potential that Jennings and Holiday have. Look for the Kings to try to move up to nab Rubio, but if they can't I think they still go with Jennings and hope he pans out.

5.    Washington—SG James Harden, Arizona State

There have been talks about the Wiz moving up in the draft or possibly out of it entirely. They are stuck with a lot of bad contracts and don't have much roster flexibility.

With all of that in mind I think they take the best player available in Harden. They can move Gilbert Arenas back to the 1 and have Harden feed off of Arenas, Antawn Jamison and Caron Butler.

6.    Minnesota—SG Tyreke Evans, Memphis

I really like the way Evans fits next to Randy Foye. I also think Evans has a game that will allow him to contribute and get minutes as soon as next year. The fact that he can play both guard positions is extremely appealing as it gives the 'Wolves much more flexibility.

If Harden slips here then I think he would be a good fit but I believe the 'Wolves need to take a player who is either a true point guard or someone who can play the point next to Foye. Evans is the latter.

7.    Golden State—PG Jrue Holiday, UCLA

I know people may want to see Lawson, Flynn or Stephen Curry here but the Warriors need a bigger player who can play next to Monte Ellis. I also think that it will be tough for them to pass up on Jordan Hill here as he would be a nice player to have next to Andris Biedrins in the front court. The problem, of course, is that they still have very young and raw players in Brendan Wright and Anthony Randolph.

The fact of the matter is the Warriors are very tough to figure out as it's hard to know what direction they are going. If they truly believe Ellis is their point guard of the future then they need to give Jordan Hill a long look. I am going to go with Holiday here with the idea that they could play him and Ellis at the guard positions with Stephen Jackson at the 3. Ellis and Holiday are both bigger guards who could switch off defending the opposing 2. Let's be honest though, in Nellie Ball it's all about putting the ball in the rack. This would clearly be a boom or bust type of pick.

8.    New York—PG Stephen Curry, Davidson

I really believe that Mike D'Antoni will get one of his point guards of the future in this draft. The question is which one does he like the most? I still say it's Curry, but Flynn, Lawson and Jeff Teague could all go here as well. No matter who they go with, I do think it will be a point guard.

9.    Toronto—SG Demar DeRozan, USC

The Raps have needed athleticism at the 2 spot since Vince Carter left. There's no questioning DeRozan's athleticism and that's why I think he fits nicely here. They would also have to give Hill a serious look as well, especially if they believe Chris Bosh will be a goner after this season.

10.    Milwaukee—PF Jordan Hill, Arizona

I have Hill slipping all the way to Milwaukee at 10. Hill does a lot of the things that Andrew Bogut doesn't and I think he would help give the Bucks a very strong frontcourt. The bucks could also look to find a point guard here as it appears Ramon Sessions might leave via free agency. But I think power forward is an important need for them and Hill would fit nicely with what they are trying to do.

11.    New Jersey—PF DeJuan Blair, Pittsburgh

The Nets would be ecstatic to see Blair here. The team clearly has building blocks in Devin Harris and Brook Lopez, but they need some girth to go with the length and abilities that those two players respectively provide. Blair would give them some power to go with a solid young front court trio of Lopez, Ryan Anderson and Yi Jianlian.

12.    Charlotte—SG Gerald Henderson, Duke

I still say this is the obvious pick for Charlotte. Henderson would be penciled into the starting lineup immediately and would form a nice backcourt duo with D.J. Augustine in the future. He has the ability to be a solid shooting guard and would give them a very solid piece.

13.    Indiana—PG Jonny Flynn, Syracuse

This move only happens if Jarrett Jack walks. Flynn and T.J. Ford would make the quickest 1-2 punch of point guards in the league. With a guys like Troy Murphy, Danny Granger and Mike Dunleavy all being good three-point shooters, the Pacers need a guy who can penetrate and kick. Flynn would provide them with serious insurance for if/when T.J. Ford gets hurt and would also become their point guard of the future.

14.    Phoenix—SF James Johnson, Wake Forest

They could go for a point guard here to groom behind Steve Nash, but I think they'll go for Johnson if he is still available.  With Matt Barnes and Grant Hill getting older they need some athleticism at the 3. Johnson has the potential to really thrive in Phoenix's system.

15.    Detroit—PF Gani Lawal, Georgia Tech

Lawal is a young power forward who knows his role in the paint. With Rasheed Wallace and Antonio McDyess likely moving on, there is a major need for a power player to help them out. He still has room to develop due to his youth so time is on his side as the Pistons look like they are going to be going into rebuilding mode.

16.    Chicago-- SF Earl Clark, Louisville

Clark would give them much needed depth at both forward positions. It was clear the Bulls needed some more depth at the 3 and the 4 when Luol Deng got hurt and Clark would provide them with some bench flexibility. He has tremendous upside and could potentially develop into a starter.

17.    Philadelphia—PG Ty Lawson, UNC

With Andre Miller looking like he has moved on from the City of Brotherly Love, the big need for the Sixers is at point guard.  They also were at their best this year when they were getting up and down the floor. No player in this year's draft can push the ball like Lawson can.

18.    Minnesota—SF Terrence Williams, Louisville

Williams gives them another ball handler and toughness at the 3 that Rodney Carney and Corey Brewer just don't bring. By adding him and Evans they will have drastically improved their wing play with two good ball handlers.

19.    Atlanta—PG Eric Maynor, VCU

With the uncertainty of Mike Bibby's free agency and the struggles that Acie Law has had the move looks to be at point guard here. Even if they bring Bibby back they still would have a need to have a backup point guard of the future for him. Maynor would give them a guy who can backup right now and be a starter down the road.

20. Utah—C B.J. Mullens, Ohio State

When Mehmet Okur went down the Jazz really had trouble. They clearly needed a backup center who could come in and give them some rebounding and play in the paint. I am not a big fan of Mullens and I am sure Jazz fans are having flashbacks of Curtis Borchardt, but Mullens might be the guy for the Jazz here.

21.     New Orleans Hornets—PG Jeff Teague, Wake Forest

It was clear that Chris Paul needed a backup this year. Without Jannero Pargo they really ran into a wall relying on Paul's handling for entire games. Teague would be a point guard who could come in and score when Paul heads to the pine. Teague also has decent size that should allow the Hornets to steal some minutes with both of them on the floor.

22.    Dallas—SG Marcus Thornton, LSU

The Mavs need to find a shooting guard. Thornton has great toughness and would fit nicely with the established core the Mavs have. I think he would be thrilled to be on a good team and the guy has proven to be a winner. Look for him to do a lot of the little things to help this team right away.

23.    Sacramento—SF Sam Young, Pittsburgh

The Kings have a lot of skinny wing players who really rely on shooting. Young would give them a stronger wing who will help on defense, rebounding and give them some much needed athleticism.

24.    Portland—SG Nick Calathes, Florida

Portland has starters and potential starters at just about every position. They really don't need any more young guys on their roster. Drafting Calathes would allow them to store him overseas and bring him into the mix when he and they are ready to use him. They also could trade this pick for a veteran who would actually be able to crack the rotation.

25.    Oklahoma City—PG Darren Collison, UCLA

Collison would give them a solid backup to go with Russell Westbrook. He also has shown that he can be successful while playing with Westbrook as he did in college. Where Westbrook and Collison are about as different as point guards come and because of that I think Collison would provide value to a young, up and coming squad.

26.    Chicago—PF Tyler Hansbrough, UNC

Can you imagine a paint with Jaokim Noah and Tyler Hansbrough? Talk about energy and offensive rebounding. Hansbrough would complete a solid frontcourt rotation filled with guys who don't mind doing the dirty work (other than Tyrus Thomas). 

27.    Memphis—PF Jeff Pendegraph, Arizona State

Few players measured up as solid as Pendegraph did in Chicago. The guy has legit size to play the four and the five at the next level and had a very productive college year. The Grizzlies would be stretching to take him here, but they really need a solid power forward to play with their perimeter players. Pendegraph isn't flashy and his upside is limited but he should be a solid power forward who will do what needs to be done in the paint. 

28.    Minnesota—PG Patrick Mills, St. Mary's

After taking two wing players earlier in the draft the 'Wolves pickup the last true first-round point guard. Mills would give them an up-tempo guard who could push the second unit and potentially one day take over the reigns as the starter.

29.    LA Lakers— SF Austin Daye, Gonzaga
 
With a solid and deep rotation the Lakers are in a position where they can draft for potential. Few players in this year's draft have the potential of Daye. But he will need time to get stronger and more confident in his own game if he wants to compete at the next level. With the uncertainty of Lamar Odom's future this would also make sense as Daye is a very versatile forward.

30. Cleveland—PF Demarre Carroll, Missouri

He would bring the Cavaliers everything they had wished from Ben Wallace. Carroll would give them the strength and athleticism that they so desperately needed in the playoffs. He is far from a complete player, but he can get up and down as well as any big in the draft and he has a limitless motor. They also could look for a shooter here, depending on how they feel about last year's pick, J.J. Hickson.
Posted on: May 20, 2009 1:05 am
Edited on: May 20, 2009 4:56 pm
 

Mock Draft 1.0

1. L.A. Clippers -- PF Blake Griffin, Oklahoma

Team needs: SG or PF.

Analysis: The Clips' roster is loaded with guys who have been productive at one point in their careers. Unfortunately the Clips had an abysmal year due to injuries, age and mismatches in the pieces to their puzzle. They do have two nice young pieces to build around in combo guard Eric Gordon and small forward Al Thornton. They also have veterans Baron Davis and Zach Randolph locked up for many years at point guard and power forward, respectively. Lastly, they have injury-prone but productive centers Marcus Camby and Chris Kaman, with youngster DeAndre Jordan to back them up. When it comes down to it they can really take the best player on the board, and they are lucky to be able to do that.

Griffin will be paired with Al Thornton to make a very solid 1-2 punch at the forward position. He also will be protected down low by two legit-sized centers in Kaman and Camby. If the Clips stay healthy this year, which is a big if, then they could be as good as most of the Western Conference teams. They are looking at a bench that can either include veterans Camby or Kaman and either Randolph or Griffin. To have four bigs that you can rotate and get production out of is very rare. It should be interesting to see how they all mesh next year.

Other potential picks:

Hasheem Thabeet or Ricky Rubio

2. Memphis--PG Ricky Rubio, Spain

Team needs: PF or PG.

Analysis: The Griz have two nice scorers in Rudy Gay and O.J. Mayo to build around. They also found a diamond in the rough as Marc Gasol proved to be a very capable big man inside. They are still waiting for Conley to come out of his shell at the point, but he showed flashes last year. They have a major hole at the four position, but they should be able to address that in the offseason. This pick is a two-man race between Thabeet and Rubio. I think they will go with Rubio because of their real need to get Gay and Mayo in positions to score. I know that they just used a top pick on Conley only a couple of years ago, but I think you need two good point guards to be successful in the NBA anyway. Also, I am not sure that Thabeet is the right low-post presence that they need. 

With Rubio on board they can really get out in transition. I think they should try to find a power forward that can get out and run with those guys and they could be a dangerous team in a couple of years. Obviously, the perfect fit for this team would've been Blake Griffin, but I think Rubio will help them and hopefully will push Conley to live up to his potential. Lastly, one other interesting note is that they have a pick late in the first round (27) where they could also draft one of the many point guards in this year's draft. But, I think they'll go with Rubio here.

Other potential picks:
Hasheem Thabeet or Jordan Hill

3.   Oklahoma City--C Hasheem Thabeet, Connecticut

Team needs: C or SG

Analysis: They do have a need at shooting guard and could look there with this pick, but I think they have to take Thabeet. He would be a tremendous addition to a nice young team in Oklahoma City. With their core of Kevin Durant, Jeff Green and Russell Westbrook, this team really needs a big man to hold down the middle for them. He would help Green, who is an undersized power forward, and would also create double teams for Durant to shoot the ball. Furthermore, the combination of Westbrook's defense up top and Thabeet's ability to help down low would create a tremendous foundation for a good defensive team. 

I have Thabeet ranked as the second-best player in the draft and I can't think of a better fit for him or a team in general than Oklahoma City. Look for them to also give Harden a look, but this to me should be a no-brainer and he would allow Oklahoma City to continue to grow its good young core.

Other potential picks:
James Harden or Ricky Rubio

4. Sacramento-- PG Brandon Jennings, Lottomatica Roma

Team needs: PG or SF

Analysis: This is going to be a really tough decision for the Kings. The best guys on the board here are probably shooting guards. Unfortunately for the Kings that's the deepest and most-talented position that they have in Kevin Martin and Francisco Garcia. I would normally say that they should just take the best player available here, but I am not sure there is a big difference from among talent between this spot and the next 10-15.

My suggestion would be to try to trade down to someone who is heavily interested in either Jordan Hill or James Harden. It's no secret the Kings are hurting for cash and they may be able to unload one of their bad contracts and get cash considerations to move back a couple of picks. 

Unfortunately for me and unluckily for the Kings, I have to put somebody here. I am going out on a major limb and having them take Brandon Jennings. I know, it's hard to imagine that a guy who could barely get off the bench in Europe is now going to be a top-five pick but there's no doubting his upside and the Kings really need not only a point guard, but somebody who will get the city excited again. Jennings has showtime in his game and has superstar quickness and passing ability. Trust me, I don't think this is the best pick of all-time, but I think they need to roll the dice rather than settle for someone like Harden, who will be behind Martin.
 
Other potential picks:
James Harden or Tyreke Evans

5. Washington--SG James Harden, Arizona State

Team needs: PG or SF

Analysis: Gilbert Arenas was tremendous in his brief stint at point guard last year and the Wizards will have to hope he can do the same this year. I know Arenas has said multiple times he sees himself as a point guard and he feels like he will be at his best at that position. Of course, he probably should worry about his health before anything. 

They also could look at Tyreke Evans, who would be an interesting backcourt pairing with Arenas. Jordan Hill is another guy who may be a good fit and a player who could finally give them some much-needed interior scoring. Another interesting storyline is that the Wizards already are committed to 14 players for next year. Furthermore, they are already going to be about $3-6 million over the luxury tax when they draft this year.

When Flip Saunders was hired for $4 million a year, owner Abe Pollin professed he would do anything to bring a championship to D.C. Well, he's certainly opening up the wallet these days as they will have the highest payroll going into this draft and the offseason. That's right, the second worst team will have the highest payroll going into the offseason -- in a recession nonetheless. And it's not like we are talking about a NYC, Chicago or L.A. market. The Wizards were having a lot of trouble filling the building last year and the Capitals have officially taken up the part of vice president in the D.C. sports team popularity race (second to the always beloved Redskins). At what point does that payroll cause a concern with what they do with a high draft pick that will put their total salaries at close to $80 million next year?   

Other potential picks:
Tyreke Evans or Jordan Hill

6. Minnesota--SG Tyreke Evans, Memphis

Team needs: SF or C

Analysis: I think Evans is a very good fit for Minnesota. They have a solid frontcourt of Kevin Love and Al Jefferson to build on and Randy Foye has shown that at the very least, he can score in the NBA. I think Evans would complement Foye in the backcourt and would be able to either learn behind veteran Mike Miller or give them the flexibility to shift Miller to the three. If need be, Evans has the flexibility to play the three as well. 

Evans has tremendous court vision and is at his best when he has the ball in his hands and can create for himself or his teammates. I think he will make Foye a better player and will help get Love and Jefferson the ball down low. I also like him here because he won't have to come in and start as the Wolves have a number of former high draft-pick wing players in Corey Brewer, Rodney Carney and Miller who Evans can play behind if need be. 

Due to the lack of a true point guard the Wolves need a guy who can create and I think Evans is the best guy at this juncture in the draft. He gives them flexibility and options that they don't currently have in guys like Brewer, Carney and Miller.

Other potential picks:
Jordan Hill or James Harden

7. Golden State--PF Jordan Hill, Arizona

Team needs: PF or PG

Analysis: It seems year after year Golden State has taken long and athletic power forwards with its first-round picks. While Hill is a long and athletic power forward he is different than Anthony Randolph and Brandan Wright. He is more involved in the paint and has already shown improvement in his three years in college. It's tough to figure out what philosophy the Warriors will have in the post-Chris Mullin era and they have more two guards than any other team in the league. It's also important to see where they plan on using Monte Ellis, as I am sure many Warriors fans would rather them take one of the many talented point guards in this year's draft.  

If they plan to still play Nellie Ball then I think they might want to try to get one of those point guards. But if they are trying to build a more traditional team, Hill might be the right fit in the frontcourt next to Andris Biedrins. This will be a tough one to gauge due to the new administration.

Other potential picks:
Earl Clark or Brandon Jennings

8. New York--PG Stephen Curry, Davidson

Team needs: PG or C

Analysis: I am not completely sold that Curry is the best fit for coach Mike D'antoni's system. But if they are going to try to get "you know who" in 2010, then I think Curry would fit nicely next to him. I think if Jennings is here they should also take a look at him. Jennings would be a good fit in the Big Apple. The Knicks also could, and probably should, take the highest guy on their board because they probably won't have more than three or four players from next year's roster on the team come 2010. 

Let's face it: The Knicks aren't trying to win next year and are really setting themselves up for the 2010 season. Curry is the type of guy who will come in and do what the coach asks of him. He also will have the opportunity to learn from a solid and hard-working point guard in Chris Duhon.

This really could be anyone. I don't think they will take a two or three here so I am looking for them to look at one of the many point guards in this year's draft.

Other potential picks:
Brandon Jennings or Jonny Flynn

9.  Toronto—SG Demar Derozan, Southern California

Team needs: SG or SF

Analysis:
The Raptors' biggest need is at shooting guard. They really lack an outside scorer who can play next to Jose Calderon and off of Chris Bosh. I know they could also use a center or even a small forward depending on where they plan to use Andrea Bargnani, but to me the biggest need is at shooting guard. Derozan has the body and a lot of the skills that two-guards need to possess in the NBA. He will give them an athletic player who can take the ball to the rim. 

There is no doubt Derozan is still raw and needs to drastically improve his outside shooting if he wants to be successful at the next level, but I think he fits with what they are looking for at the two-guard spot. I would go for Gerald Henderson here, but teams often chose youth over more experienced guys and Derozan does have a lot of potential. They could also go with Earl Clark here, as he would fit nicely next to Bosh and Bargnani in an up-tempo system.

Other potential picks:
Gerald Henderson or Earl Clark

10. Milwaukee-- PF Dejuan Blair, Pittsburgh

Team needs: PF or PG

Analysis: This should be a great match for both the team and the player involved. The Bucks really need a tough player next to Andrew Bogut and Blair would definitely provide that. He also would give this team a toughness they really need. Charlie Villanueva is a restricted free agent and even if he does return they still would need a banger down low.

I love Blair's game and his emotion will certainly be a boost for the Bucks. They also could look to sure up the point guard position with many of the fine point guard prospects in this year's draft. I also know that they took forward Joe Alexander last year, but he really didn't look like he was ready to contribute last season or in the near future for that matter. They have some issues at point guard with Ramon Sessions possibly leaving for free agency and Luke Ridnour's mediocre play, but I think the move should be to go after Blair.

Other potential picks:
Jonny Flynn or Jrue Holiday

11.  New Jersey-- SF James Johnson, Wake Forest

Team needs: SF or PG

Analysis: Johnson is one of three of four small forward prospects who could go here. He is a tweener SF/PF guy who has tremendous upside. I think he will end up fitting in at the three in the NBA as he improves his handle and his outside shooting. With their young core of Devin Harris, Yi Jianlian and Brook Lopez as centerpieces, the Nets have done a nice job of starting the rebuilding process. Johnson should fit in nicely with those guys to create a big front line. 

The other option for them would be to go after one of the two-guards in the draft with the idea they can move Vince Carter over to the three or have that player behind Carter off the bench. Lastly, they have a clear need for a backup PG and they may decide to take the best available player, which will probably be a point guard. With all of that being said, I think Johnson would give this team some nice athleticism and would be a good piece to their foundation.

Other potential picks:
Gerald Henderson or Jonny Flynn

12.  Charlotte-- SG Gerald Henderson, Duke  

Team needs: SG or C

Analysis: Charlotte's a team with a clear need since it traded Jason Richardson last year. With Raja Bell aging, it has a clear need to find an athletic shooting guard. Henderson is actually similar to Richardson in a lot of ways and I think he would be a great find for Charlotte at 12. I love Henderson's potential, but feel he will be able to fit right in and do some good things his rookie year. 

With guys like D.J. Augustine (possibly Raymond Felton), Gerald Wallace and Emeka Okafor as a base I think Henderson will provide them with some much needed athleticism and more importantly perimeter scoring. Charlotte also has a clear need to have a center play next to Okafor, but this year's draft really doesn't have too many big men who will be able to help Charlotte next year, or in the future for that matter.

They could stretch for B.J. Mullens, but I think the Bobcats would be seriously disappointed if they did that. Lastly, if Henderson, Derozan or Evans aren't available here they may have to take the best available player on their board.

Other potential picks:
Terrance Williams or BJ Mullens

13.  Indiana-- PG Jrue Holiday, UCLA

Team needs: SG or C

Analysis: Even though the Pacers drafted Brandon Rush and Roy Hibbert last year I think they still have needs at both of those positions. I think Holiday also solidifies their point guard position if Jarett Jack moves on or if T.J. Ford's health doesn't hold up. Holiday might be the best available talent if he is still on the board here and I think he would give them insurance at both guard positions since he can play both effectively. With that being said, ultimately I see him as a point guard.

It's hard to see where the Pacers will go in the future. They are locked into Danny Granger, Mike Dunleavy and Troy Murphy's contracts, which will make it hard for them to bring in new talent outside the draft. Of those guys, Granger is the only one you would really want to build around and I think Holiday could be a nice sidekick for him (although I am not sure there will be many assists).

Other potential picks:
Stephen Curry or BJ Mullens
 
14.  Phoenix-- PG Ty Lawson, North Carolina

Team needs: SF or PF

Analysis: The Suns' biggest need is small forward. With an aging Grant Hill and Matt Barnes (who both may leave via free agency) they do have a clear need. But I think they will bring those guys back, as well as use Jared Dudley at that position when need be. With where they are drafting, I really think they should lock up a backup for Steve Nash. I personally am not that high on him, but I will admit Ty Lawson would be a great fit for there up-tempo style of basketball. 

Also their current backup (Goran Dragic) didn't show he could be a quality backup point guard last year and Leandro Barbosa is at his best at the two spot. Because of this I look for them to take the best available point guard here. I know this would be a questionable move considering Nash's future is murky in Phoenix, but I think if they're going to keep him he'll need an adequate backup anyway. If they move him, then obviously they need a replacement and this draft is filled with guys who potentially could start at the point.

Other potential picks:
Gani Lawal or Eric Maynor

15. Detroit-- PF Gani Lawal, Georgia Tech

Team needs: PF or C

Analysis: Lawal normally wouldn't go this high, but the Pistons have a clear need to get frontcourt help with Rasheed Wallace and Antonio McDyess likely leaving for free agency. Their perimeter players appear to be in place for next year in Rodney Stuckey, Richard Hamilton and Tayshaun Prince. Lawal potentially fits nicely next to those guys as he is as true of a power forward as any in this year's draft. He still has a ways to go, as he is just a sophomore, but he potentially could be a nice piece and would fit the Pistons' rugged style of play. 

The Pistons are about to start the rebuilding process and could go a lot of different ways here. They could go for one of the point guards or could try to create depth behind one of their veteran wing players.

Other potential picks:
Earl Clark or B.J. Mullens

16.  Chicago--SF Earl Clark, Louisville

Team needs: SF or PF

Analysis: The Bulls basically need depth at this point in the dThe Bulls basically need depth at this point in the draft. I think Clark would be a good fit here as he would provide them with depth at two positions they need depth at (SF and PF). Clark has all of the potential in the world and could turn out to be a very good player at the next level. At the same time he isn't a consistent enough shooter to be a three and doesn't have the low-post game you need to have at the four so that leaves him in the classic "tweener" role in the NBA. But with the game changing and more and more teams using perimeter power forwards he may be able to fit in with the right system. 

This pick also hinges on what happens with Ben Gordon. If he leaves then the Bulls may look for a backup shooting guard who could take his place like Clark's partner in crime at Louisville, Terrence Williams.

Other potential picks:
Terrence Williams or Sam Young

17.  Philadelphia--PG Jonny Flynn, Syracuse

Team needs: PG or SF

Analysis: This largely will be decided on what the 76ers do in free agency as far as point guards. But even if they end up signing a point guard or resigning Andre Miller, they still could use another young point guard (Lou Williams is more of a two). I also could see them using this pick to go after a small forward to provide depth for Thaddeus Young, which they clearly didn't have when Young went down.

In a draft filled with point guards I would find it hard to believe they wouldn't swoop one up. Flynn is a guy who would really fit with there up-tempo style of play and does a great job of throwing alley-oops, which is significant when you play with the likes of Andre Iguodala, Samuel Dalembert and Young. I also think Flynn could step into a leadership role and provide toughness to a team that appears to lack both of those traits.

I personally love Flynn (not just because I am a Syracuse grad) and think he will thrive in the NBA. If he falls to here the 76ers will be more than lucky. But, it's really all about which point guard they like and Eric Maynor or Jeff Teague may be higher on their list. Also, a guy like Terrence Williams would be a great addition as he could backup Igoudala and Young.

Other potential picks:
Eric Maynor or Terrence Williams

18.  Minnesota--SF Terrence Williams, Louisville

Team needs: SF or C

Analysis: With them taking Tyreke Evans earlier and Terrence Williams here they have added two wing players who can handle and play next to Foye. I think Williams will play in the NBA for many years and would be a nice addition to this young team. His ability to play three positions will give them great flexibility and allow them to mix and match with different lineups. He played a lot of point-forward at Louisville and he could do that in the NBA for some time during a game.

They definitely could use a true center here as Love and Jefferson are both power forwards, so they may take Mullens. But I think they should, and will go with a proven commodity like Williams especially after they draft a freshman in Evans earlier in the first round. Lastly, if they believe that Foye isn't capable of playing the point then they could look to fill that void here, but I think they should wait until their third and final pick (27) to take care of that position.

Other potential picks:
Eric Maynor or B.J. Mullens

19.  Atlanta--PG Eric Maynor, Virginia Commonwealth

Team needs: PG or PF

Analysis: The Hawks still could use an up-and-coming lead guard. Bibby is a free agent, but even if he re-signs the team could use a young point guard they can have grow with their young core. Acie Law was supposed to be that guy, but he hasn't seized the few minutes he's played to prove he can be a consistent backup, yet alone a starter. They also could look for an energy power forward who could backup Josh Smith and give them either pick-and-pop capabilities or scoring in the paint.

The Hawks are a hard team to read as they only have seven players committed next year so how they draft depends a lot on their plan in free agency. No matter what they do they still need a complete point guard and Eric Maynor may be that answer. If they bring Bibby back this pick can provide backup minutes and defense for him, as well as battling Acie Law for that backup position. If Bibby leaves they may even give Maynor run the point full time. Either way, a point guard in a point guard-heavy draft is certainly a good move here.

Other potential picks:
Jeff Teague or Damion James

20.  Utah--PG Darren Collison, UCLA

Team needs: PG or C

Analysis: Like the Hawks, the Jazz will have to figure out what they are doing in free agency as they decide what they need in the draft. Regardless, they need a backup for Deron Williamsm, which was evident throughout the year and in the playoffs. With this in mind I think they will go to Darren Collison in the hopes he can serve as a steady point guard when Williams is out of the game.

Collison is a good shooter and is very cautious with the basketball. He comes from a UCLA system similar to Utah's and I think he will have no problem coming off the bench. He would be a good fit for the Jazz and he would fit a role as a very good backup for one of the league's premier point guards.

Other potential picks:
B.J. Mullens or Jeff Teague

21.  New Orleans--PG Jeff Teague, Wake Forest

Team needs: PG or SG

Analysis: The Hornets will probably try to sell this pick due to their lack of roster space and luxury tax problems. I think they will probably have a lot of trouble moving it because of the economy and the 2010 free agent class. So like the Jazz, I think they will provide their star point guard with some backup help. It was clear this team missed Jannero Pargo this year and relied way too heavily on Chris Paul.

The Hornets could also use backup frontcourt help, but I can't see them passing on Teague if he's around. Teague would be a very good backup and has the potential to be a starter in this game. He also can give them a little bit of time at the two-guard spot as he is one of the better scoring point guards in this year's draft.

Other potential picks:
B.J. Mullens or Darren Collison

22. Dallas--C B.J. Mullens, Ohio State

Team needs: C or SG  

Analysis: I know they also could use a point guard if Jason Kidd leaves, but they really need a center or a shooting guard. I also know I have put the name B.J. Mullens in six of the previous 21 "other potential picks." That's because 7-footers don't grow on trees and just about every team would love to have a 7-footer. The Mavs, as much as anyone, really need to get more production from there center. I also think they will be the ones to roll the dice on Mullens if he isn't drafted by any of those six teams mentioned earlier.

The Mavs could look to one of the true point guards who may be available as a replacement to Kidd, but I am not sure any of the true points will still be on the board. They also could go with Patty Mills or hope that Maynor slips here, but I don't think they're the most important needs as they already have Terry and Jose Juan Barea (Kidd may return as well). Nick Calathes is another interesting player here as he could play with Barea or Terry if they wanted to insert one of them into the starting lineup.

Other potential picks:
Nick Calathes or Jeff Teague

23.  Sacramento--SF Sam Young, Pittsburgh

Team needs: PG, SF

Analysis: Young would fit very nicely for a team that could use a solid small forward. The big downside with Young is that he is 24 and the Kings are in rebuilding mode. If they could add a point guard with their first pick and plug in Young then they would have a nice young nucleus of guys to go with this year.

They also could look to get some more depth on their front line, but Young should be able to steal some minutes at the four as well. He would add strength, athleticism and toughness to a rather soft starting lineup (see Kevin Martin and Spencer Hawes).

Other potential picks:

Patrick Mills or Damion James

24.  Portland--SF Damion James, Texas

Team needs: PF and SF

Analysis: The Blazers were the youngest team in the playoffs and really need to add the right mix of veterans around their young core. I am not sure if they need another young player to add to their core as many of their youngsters are already not able to get off of the bench. However, if I was going to add a piece I would look for a small forward or power forward backup.

Damion James could give them positive energy minutes and is basically the exact opposite of LaMarcus Aldridge. He would do a nice job of backing up Aldridge and also would give them nice minutes at the three if Travis Outlaw or Nicolas Batum struggle. I wouldn't worry about him as a backup 4 because of the size that they have at the 5.

Other potential picks:
Patrick Mills or Tyler Hansbrough

25.  Oklahoma City--SG Nick Calathes, Florida

Team needs: SG or C

Analysis: Calathes is a good fit here even if they decide to go with Rubio. Calathes would be a great guy to have next to Russell Westbrook and is the type of distributor a guy like Kevin Durant would love to play with. His ability to play both guard positions would be a plus when playing with Westbrook.

They also could take a look at Hansbrough as he would provide them with some toughness down low that they don't get from Green. Another option is to go with a more standard shooting guard to play next to Westbrook.

Other potential picks:
Tyler Hansbrough or Dionte Christmas

26.  Chicago--SG Marcus Thornton, Louisiana State

Team needs: SF or PF

Thornton would be a good backup option for John Salmons if Ben Gordon decides to bolt. He is a tough two-guard who brings a lot to the table that Salmons lacks.

Chicago also could look to a solid pick-and-pop type of power forward as Tyrus Thomas clearly needs a backup. It lacks depth at the four and a guy like Dante Cunningham would fit in nice with them.  

Other potential picks:
Austin Daye or Dante Cunningham

27.  Memphis--PF Tyler Hansbrough, North Carolina

Team needs: PF or PG

Analysis: Hansbrough is a great fit in Memphis where it really needs a power forward who can do the dirty work. With Darrell Arthur and Hansbrough it would have two meat-and-potatoes players who could do a lot of the dirty work needed down low. 

They also could look at a point guard here if they decide to take Thabeet with the second pick of the draft.

Other potential picks:
Patrick Mills or Taj Gibson

28.  Minnesota--PG Patrick Mills, St. Marys

Team needs: SF or C

Analysis: The Wolves may look to move this pick or take a Euro as they already have two earlier draft picks and not that many roster spots next year.  If they do take it they should take a long look at Patrick Mills.  Mills is a lightning-quick point guard who would probably do a better job than Sebastian Telfair does at the point.

Look for the Wolves to either move this pick or go with a Euro due to lack of roster space. 

Other potential picks:
Omri Cassipi or Josh Heytfelt

29.  LA Lakers--SF Chase Budinger, Arizona

Team needs: SF or PF

Analysis: If Trevor Ariza leaves the Lakers will really need someone to come in and play alongside Kobe Bryant and Co.  Budinger is a very talented player who didn't quite accomplish what he should have in college. I think he would do well next to Kobe, who may get Buddinger to push himself a little more.  

Budinger has a lot of talent on the perimeter as well as leaping ability that would make him a solid small forward.  He would be served well if he ended up with the Lakers.

Other potential picks:
Tyler Smith or DeJuan Summers

30.  Cleveland--SG Wayne Ellington, North Carolina

Team needs: SG or PF

I am not a big of a fan of Ellington, but he would be a great fit for LeBron's team. There are so many times when a player will get open looks when you play with the King and that is one thing Ellington can do.

He needs to improve his ball handling and his defense, but with LeBron he would have one role and he would be able to do what he does best -- shoot.

Other potential picks:
Jeff Pendegraph and Josh Heytfelt

Some other guys to keep an eye on:

Guards: Jodie Meeks, Kentucky; Jeremy Pargo, Gonzaga; Dionte Christmas, Temple; Jerel Mcneal, Marquette; Wesley Matthews, Marquette; T. Douglas, Florida State; Jack McClinton, Miami; Curtis Jerrels, Baylor; A.J. Price, Connecticut; Greivis Vazquez, Maryland

Forwards:
Dante Cunningham, Villanova; Austin Daye, Gonzaga; Jeff Pendegraph, Arizona State; Taj Gibson, Southern California; Tyler Smith, Tennessee; Danny Green, North Carolina; DaJuan Summers, Georgetown; Derrick Brown, Xavier; Demarre Carroll, Missouri;

Center: Josh Heytfelt, Gonzaga
Category: NBA
 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com