How amusing – we made this image in our first mock draft for 2009.
Mike Dunleavy will be glad he studied it.

1.    LAC – Blake Griffin – 6’9 PF From Oklahoma
Ok, so I’m gonna steal a semi-humorous joke I saw on the forum regarding the Clippers and their new stud. All they have to do is make sure they take BLAKE Griffin as opposed to Taylor Griffin. They get that right and things will start happening. But this could be the trigger of some big things in Clipper nation. Baron Davis, Kaman, Camby and Randolph will now be mentioned in trade talks (Baron Davis’ name has been linked to a couple of rumours) and I daresay that with some very quality coaches being available, the long awaited sacking of Mike Dunleavy Snr. Could happen. Then again, this is the Clippers we are talking about.

2.    MEM – Ricky Rubio 6’3 PG From Spain
Memphis are in a weird situation right now. They get the second overall pick which is guaranteed to be Rubio, but they have Mike Conley Jnr, who in the last month or so of the season was probably the Grizzlies best player. They have a massive need at the four-spot and Thabeet or more than likely Jordan Hill is their best suited player. My guess is they will look for a team to trade with, I’m thinking Sacramento – whoever it is, Memphis could feature heavily in draft day trades.

3.    OKC – Hasheem Thabeet 7’3 Centre From UConn
The Thunder will get the player they want and need. The trade that brought Thabo Sefalosha to the Thunder boosted their defensive abilities and they became more competitive. The next logical step is to get a center who actually is a center to anchor their defense even further. They don’t need offense, the trio of Westbrook-Green and Durant will score with the best of them in a couple of seasons time, but Thabeet gives them a player who could step in and be a top 5-10 shot blocker in the NBA from day one.

4.    SAC – Jordan Hill 6’10 PF/C From Arizona

I personally think this pick will be traded. But if they were to keep it, I would say they would go with the next best player available in Jordan Hill, James Harden or DeMar DeRozan. I’ll put Hill here because I think he’s the best player the Kings could use in a trade scenario to get them another pick or obviously a better player. After that, DeRozan being able to play the three and his flexibility would go well with Kevin Martin. Either way, the Kings are probably going to get set for another long year.

5.    WAS – James Harden 6’5 SG From Arizona State
The Wizards could go with Jennings here, but with Arenas coming back, a new coach with a new philosophy in Flip Saunders, I’d say the Wizards will go with a player who can allow Arenas to be more of a scoring point as well as a no-nonsense player who will simply get it done. Harden is that type of player. However, there is speculation regarding the Wizards trading this pick – rumors have already indicated their prime target to be Amare Stoudamire. The 5th pick is a precarious one in this draft, and with the Wizards really looking at a team that was decimated due to injuries, they are likely to look very very hard at a number of draft proposals.

6.    MIN – DeMar DeRozan 6’6 SG/SF From USC
The Wolves have built up some talent with Love and Jefferson anchoring the front court. Randy Foye showed at times why he’s worth persisting with, and there is still the lottery pick of Corey Brewer to come back from injury.  The Wolves might go with Brandon Jennings here, but Sebastian Telfair showed some capabilities to play the point under McHale which he previously had not. Plus, having later picks in the draft with a stacked PG class means that they can take a chance on a player like DeRozan – potential-wise he could be a top three player in this draft.

7.    GSW – Brandon Jennings 6’0 PG From USA
There has been no mistake that since the departure of Baron Davis to the Clippers last off-season, the Warriors have looked for a point guard to run alongside new foal point Monta Ellis. Nellie doesn’t see Ellis playing the point at all in his offence, but Jennings or the next best available point guard (Stephen Curry) will probably see their way to Oakland.

8.    NYK – Stephen Curry 6’1 PG/SG From Davidson
It was rumoured that Curry had a promise from the Knicks to be taken at #8. Both the Knicks and Curry came out and said this wasn’t the case. But at the end of the day, Curry has said he would love to play for the Knicks, and of all the point guards left at this stage, Curry’s ability to create shots for himself, and hit down the long range jumper makes him very valuable in the D’Antoni offence. However, the Knicks may look to move up to a top 3 pick if they get a chance.

9.    TOR – Gerald Henderson 6’4 SG From Duke
The Raptors need a two-guard. It has been more evident as the season went on that Marion and Parker didn’t work great together on the court, and that offensive production by both was fairly inconsistent. Henderson is a player who can score, but that isn’t his mantra. He will give the Raptors a lock down defender to play alongside Shawn Marion, and will fit nicely beside Jose Calderon in the backcourt.

10.    MIL – Earl Clarke 6’10 SF/PF From Louisville

The Bucks have some needs, but nothing that is blindingly obvious. Bogut anchoring the five, Jefferson and Redd anchoring the wings, and Raymond Sessions proved he has some talent worth persisting with at the point. The PF spot is maybe the one thing the Bucks would like to upgrade, but Villenuava and last years lottery pick Joe Alexander can fill that spot. I’m going to stick Clarke here, as he can play the four at 6’10 but is athletic and versatile enough to play a wing if either RJ or Redd were to go down with an injury.

11.    NJN – Tyreke Evans 6’6 SG From Memphis

The Nets are looking for a player at the 2-4 spot, with Harris and Lopez their core players to build around. The most likely star at either of the other three positions is Evans, and with Carter’s tenure at the Nets possibly over, he could be the player that comes in and eventually takes over his role. However, they may prefer Budinger and Ellington who are players who can operate off the ball whereas Evans is more ball dominant to get his scoring done. Though in saying all that, the Nets seemed to play more dribble drive offense than isolation, or sets, which may make a Harris-Evans back court possible.

12.    CHA – Wayne Ellington 6’5 SG From UNC
Budinger is a better overall player and prospect – he’s taller and more versatile. However, I don’t think the Bobcats would turn down a Tar Heel if they valued the two players similarly. Either way, the ‘Cats are looking at a player to help and eventually take over from Raja Bell, so expect the best available of Ellington, Budinger and Henderson to be wearing the ugly orange of the Bobcats.

13.    IND – DeJuan Blair 6’7 PF From Pittsburgh
If anyone has seen the ESPN video interview that Chad Ford does with DeJuan Blair you’ll see how much of a physical freak he is. Agile and having put on muscle and losing baby fat, Blair could help anchor the front court with last years draftee Roy Hibbert. PF is the most likely position that the Pacers need to fill with youngsters TJ Ford (not so much a youngster), Granger and Rush filling the perimeter positions.

14.    PHX – Jonny Flynn 6’0 PG From Syracuse

The Suns seemed to be convinced that unless one of the other point guard rated higher falls to them that Flynn is the long term replacement for Steve Nash. They may look to trade up with Amare Stoudamire’s contract looming over their heads, Shaq having one more year left as the same with Nash himself.

My Patrick Mills prediction is 18 (Minnesota) or 19 (Atlanta).

I’ll be back with another mock draft closer to draft day, but be sure to check back as promises, trades and more rumors pop up prior to the big day (especially when it comes to our boy Patty!)

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