Welcome to my last blog edition for the ‘Idiots Guide to the 2008 NBA Draft’ for 2008. I’ve been following NBA draft’s for going on four years now, and this is by far the most complex I’ve ever come across. Literally, every single first round pick in this draft has been mentioned in some trade or another. However, the mock draft is done on the very illogical premise that no team will trade their picks, and that every team has a sane administration making those picks. Either way, this is a special edition, for instead of just the lottery projections, it’s the top 30… in right order! (PS – no Robd has not gone on holiday, he will be back with his Finals wrap up very soon)

1. CHI – Derrick Rose – PG – 6’3 – Memphis – Fresh.
It seems almost certain that Rose will be the number 1 overall pick on draft day. He makes so much sense for the Bulls, it makes Hinrich expendable, but more so his ability to beat his man off the dribble and get up and down the floor can make the game one of quickness and athleticism allowing Tyrus Thomas, Ben Gordon and Joakhim Noah to play taller than they really are.

2. MIA – Michael Beasley – SF/PF – 6’8 – Kansas State – Fresh.
Basically, Beasley will be pick two. There has been some speculation that the Heat will draft Mayo here, but inevitably, the three teams below them are all in want of Beasley, making it possible for a swap of picks and players that could propel the Heat further ahead in their rebuilding process.

3. MIN – OJ Mayo – PG/SG – 6’4 – USC – Fresh.
I highly doubt Mayo will be a Wolf. It seems most plausible that he’ll be traded to the Heat. But, even if a deal falls through, Mayo is a guy who fits what the T-Wolves are looking for – a sidekick to Randy Foye in the backcourt. The success of Monta Ellis and Baron Davis are allowing for many teams to highly consider a duel combo guard back court.

4. SEA – Jerryd Bayless – PG/SG – 6’3 – Arizona – Fresh.
There has been some speculation of Brook Lopez here, but at the end of the day, putting all their eggs in the Durant-Green wing combo to rebuild around, a dominant pass-first point guard is not what they need. A jump shooting, good off-ball working point guard/ shooting guard like Bayless would keep the defence honest, whilst stretching the offence a lot more than what Ridnour or Watson could do. Plus, he’s the fourth best prospect on the board.

5. MEM – Kevin Love – PF – 6’9 – UCLA – Fresh.
The Grizzlies are probably praying that some force of nature delivers them Mayo, so they can trade and grab Beasley. But this is unlikely. With their last two first round draft picks filling their point guard and wing positions (Conley and Gay Jnr’s) a player to fill their back court stocks is desired. Having Milicic and bringing over Marc Gasol (gained in the Pau Gasol trade) will probably force them to take a power forward, and Love is the best in the draft.

6. NYK – Russell Westbrook – PG/SG – 6’4 – UCLA – Soph.
This pick could really be anyone. The beauty of Mike D’Antoni’s seven-second-offence is that anyone who has athleticism and quickness can play in it, which pretty much is everyone in the draft bar Brook Lopez and Roy Hibbert. There has been a lot of noise around Westbrook lately supposedly working out quite well in numerous workouts. The Knicks could also use some defensive presence, and future point guard. Westbrook could fill both.

7. LAC – Eric Gordon – SG – 6’3 – Indiana – Fresh.
The Clippers are probably holding out for Westbrook. But assuming the draft goes the way I think it will, he will be off the board and Eric Gordon will be staring them in the face. With Corey Maggette likely being in another uniform and Cuttino Mobley getting on in age, a future two-guard could be what the doctor ordered in Clip town – and it could make the Clippers one of the most physically toughest teams in the NBA.

8. MIL – Joe Alexander – SF – 6’8 – West Virginia – Jnr.
The perfect guy for the Bucks would be Gallinari. But the swirling rumors surrounding his European club throwing big bucks at him, as well as the sour taste that’s still in their mouth over the Yi debacle will probably force them away. They supposedly also like Anthony Randolph, but the guy they seem biggest on is Alexander. Alexander would help them at the three, and give them added depth which is needed. A safe pick really if the Bucks were to go down this road.

9. CHA – Brook Lopez – C – 7’0 – Stanford – Soph.
If there is one guy in the draft (outside of Beasley and Rose) that the Bobcats need its Brook Lopez. His lack of quickness and the fact that few teams before pick 9 need him means he falls all the way down in a nice gift wrapped package to the Bobcats.

10. NJN – Danilo Gallinari – SF – 6’9 – Italy
The Nets are supposedly looking to deal one or both of Vince Carter or Richard Jefferson in the off-season, with RJ being the bigger possibility. Gallinari is the best small forward prospect in the draft, and is a gift to the Nets at pick ten. They probably would like a front court player over Gallinari, but with a later pick in the draft, they could use that to grab the player they need.

11. IND – DJ Augustin – PG – 5’11 – Texas – Soph.
Jamaal Tinsley seems out of the Pacer town. The Clippers have high hopes on Westbrook falling to them here, but as it is highly doubtful that is (the latest he should be selected is pick 8) . Augustin is simply the next best point guard on the board.

12. SAC – Darrell Arthur – PF – 6’9 – Kansas – Soph.
The Kings really don’t need anything outside of a point guard and a power forward. With the prime point guard prospects of the board at this pick, the Kings will take the guy they seem to be most high on in Arthur. His all around skill and athleticism make him almost a perfect fit in Coach Theus’ system.

13. POR – Anthony Randolph – SF/PF – 6’10 – LSU – Fresh.
It seems that the only player the Blazers would consider drafting and keeping is either Westbrook or Joe Alexander. If both those players are off the board, they seem intend on trading it away. Assuming that, the team who gets this pick could use it to select Randolph as a developing player.

14. GSW – DeAndre Jordan – C – 7’0 – Fresh.
The Warriors really don’t need this pick, but they have it. With Ellis, Belinelli and Brandon Wright seemingly filling out their future in the 1-4 positions, they could look for a developing young centre with arguably the third best ‘ceiling’ in the draft. Plus, his quickness and athleticism play into Don Nelson’s system, allowing him to develop better.

15. PHO – Brandon Rush – SG/SF – 6’6 – Kansas – Jnr.
The Suns are really looking to add two main pieces this off-season to contend for a championship again. A shooter and some good defenders. Rush is that, and a good player to add for the future when one considers the age of injury prone Grant Hill.

16. PHI – Maureese Speights – PF – 6’10 – Florida – Soph.
The Sixers want to trade up in the draft – probably with their eyes set on a guy like Darrell Arthur. But assuming they keep this pick, they’ll probably pick the best power forward on the board at this time. Speights is it.

17. TOR – Robin Lopez – PF/C – 7’0 – Stanford – Soph.
The Raptors are in a hunt for a big man. Players like Koufos, Green and McGee are available here, but they all are either to raw (McGee) or are similar players to Bosh and Bargnani (Green and Koufos). Robin Lopez is the next best big available. His rebounding and blocking ability give him exactly what the Raptors need in the short term, and his potential gives them something to work with in the long term. [Editor’s note: this written before the JO trade]

18. WAS – Donte Green – SF/ PF – 6’10 – Syracuse – Fresh.
The Wizards could take a gamble on a guy like JaVale McGee, or even Kosta Koufos. But Green fits Eddie Jordan’s Princeton-esque offence extremely well. Tall, quick athletic with great range – a guy who could – in the foreseeable future – take over from Antawn Jamison at some point.

19. CLE – Kosta Koufos – PF/C – 7’0 – Ohio State – Fresh.
The Cavs are in the hunt for a Bynum selection. By that I mean a guy they can develop over one or two seasons as a dynamite low-post side kick to LeBron James – much like what Andrew Bynum made himself out to be before he went down this season. Koufos is that guy, and is perfect for stretching the defence of the opposition for the isolation offence for LeBron James.

20. DEN – Mario Chalmers – PG – 6’2 – Kansas – Jnr.
The Nuggets were extremely high on Ty Lawson before he pulled out of the draft. Mario Chalmers is really the only point guard left on the board unless DJ Augustin or Westbrook dramatically fall – which won’t happen. The Nuggets could swap this pick with Memphis and gain Kyle Lowry in the deal instead, but if they keep it, Chalmers is their best option.

21. NJN – JaVale McGee – C – 7’0 – Nevada – Soph.
McGee falls big, and with the falling of Anthony Randolph and DeAndre Jordan could be a future blueprint for all under-developed big’s who enter the draft to early. With the Nets selecting presumably a guy like Gallinari or Eric Gordon, they could take a punt with a developing centre for their future.

22. ORL – Courtney Lee – SG – 6’5 – Western Kentucky – Snr.
The Magic need a 2-guard who can shoot with a quick release. Nicholas Batum and Chris Douglas-Roberts are still on the board, but both aren’t as shooting talented as Courtney Lee. Almost everyone has Lee and Orlando meeting at this pick.

23. UTA – Roy Hibbert – C – 7’2 – Georgetown – Snr.
Really, outside of maybe Detroit, Boston and San Antonio, Hibbert has very few teams who could work with him – he’s simply a little to slow and methodical. However, the Jazz are one of those teams, and a back-ups to Okur and Boozer is on their wish-list, and they are supposedly high on Hibbert.

24. SEA – Serge Ibaka – PF – 6’10 – Congo
Sam Presti, the Sonics’ GM comes from the R.C. Buford background in San Antonio. Thus, it could be possible that the Sonics select an International player, and keep them over there for a few seasons. Which is smart considering that Johan Petro, Robert Swift and Saer Sene could all possibly be on their last legs as prospects. You don’t want to make the same mistake three times right?

25. HOU – Ryan Anderson – PF – 6’10 – California – Soph.
Anderson is a perfect fit for the Rockets because of his shooting touch. Peg him next to Yao Ming, and stretch the defence, isolating Yao and T-Mac becomes that much easier. A better prospect who can do other things outside of shooting as well.

26. SAS – Nicholas Batum – SG/ SF – 6’8 – France
The Spurs have a want to get younger. They are supposedly in the hunt for another first rounder, but with this they’ll probably select the best player available. Batum falls along way, and is a type of player Coach Popovich could work with.

27. POR – Ante Tomic – PF/C – 7′1 – Croatia
The Blazers are supposedly going to trade for this pick, targetting Ante Tomic. The reasoning behind this I assume is basing Tomic in grooming him over in Europe for a season or two, then bringing him in the back-up to Aldridge and Oden.

28. MEM – Jason Thompson – PF – 6’10 – Rider – Snr.
With picks this low, for teams who have had another first round pick earlier, the consensus seems to be pick the player who falls. Thompson is that guy. However, it is likely that this pick is involved in some sort of draft day deal.

29. DET – Alexis Ajinca – PF/C – 7’0 – France
The Pistons will be in the hunt for some young front-court power, depending on obviously how strong the trade rumors are surrounding every Detroit Piston outside of Rodney Stucky. Ajinca is a guy that with some muscle, could evolve into the next Rasheed Wallace, without the attitude. Well he may have an attitude, but it would be in French, so that doesn’t count.

30. BOS – Nicola Pekovic – PF/C – 6’11 – Serbia.
The Celtics’ roster management won them a Championship, but it also put them way over the cap limit. Pekovic is the perfect guy for them, but will probably play a few more season in Europe before he is brought over.

Like I said, the hardest draft to call for a long time. All we can hope for is a New York Knick stuff up, a Charlotte Bobcat steal and a Detroit Piston trade so that Robd doesn’t bug me about the potential and future of the newest Piston. Thanks for all those who read the blog, and I hope I can do the same thing for 2009. Cheery-bye!

Comment posted by
at 6/28/2008 1:22:43 AM

Yet another blog that understood Jason Thompson had no business being selected as a lottery pick.

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